About Winton Solar Farm

Winton Solar Farm is located around 25km south-west of Wangaratta, near the town of Winton, in the shire of Benalla in central north Victoria. The site covers approximately 250Ha of agricultural land currently used for livestock grazing. Winton Solar Farm uses the latest in solar energy generation technology. Solar energy is captured using solar panels – like those seen on household rooftops – that track the sun throughout the day to capture solar energy – a clean, infinite energy source.

Construction and commissioning was completed in January 2021 with the operations phase now active. The project received development approval in January 2018. Operations of the farm involves regular inspection, testing and maintenance of solar panels and associated electrical infrastructure to maintain optimum output from the solar farm. Onsite personnel also manage the site itself – vegetation control, pest control, cleaning and farm maintenance. Safety is a key consideration for all operations activities. The solar farm is now producing around 200,000MWh/per annum which is enough clean energy to power 52,000 homes.

Construction of the project took 18 months and the plant will have an operating life of around 30 years.

During construction we employed 200 people, many of these from the local area. 5 people are employed on an ongoing role.

Winton Solar Farm is continuing to work with the community and provides an annual Community Grants Program to fund initiatives that improve the liveability and vitality of the region.

Peak Power: 85 MW AC
Annual Production: 200,000 MWh/Year
CO2 Avoided: 150,000 t/Year
Households Supplied: 52,000 Homes
Surface: 250 Hectares
Construction Date: Early 2021
System Type: Single Axis Tracking Systems

Why Winton?

Increasing the use of solar energy to power our homes and businesses is important to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels, responsible for the damaging impacts of climate change. Northern Victoria is particularly well-suited to the generation of solar energy because of the volume of sunlight it receives.

The area is valued by its residents for its beauty, natural environment, heritage and community spirit. Surrounding land is used for agricultural purposes, including wool and meat production, dairying and broadacre crop farming.

Solar will also help diversify local economic production by introducing a long-term, sustainable industry that provides economic and social benefit to the surrounding region.

What it looks like?

The design and layout of the Winton solar farm has been done in accordance with local planning laws to protect the amenity of nearby residents. While the solar farm can be seen from some vantage points, the design is low profile, with solar panels mounted in rows on a tracking mechanism to follow the sun from East to West, increasing the efficiency and output of the plant.

Landscaping has also been implemented to provide screening for residents within the vicinity of the property.

The solar connects directly into the existing Glenrowan substation, which sits next to the site and is owned and operated by AusNet.

The Technology

  • The technology used at Winton Solar Farm is solar PV-Polycrystalline modules with a horizontal, single-axis tracking system. The panels will be up to approximately 3m high above ground level including the mounting structures.

  • Environmental studies were completed during the design phase to ensure that any potential impacts on native vegetation, birds or animals were minimised.

  • The project delivers significant benefits to communities within the Benalla district and wider community:

    - It creates job opportunities during construction and operation.
    - It delivers clean, zero emissions electricity to meet the region’s energy needs and helps further the development of the Australian clean energy industry
    - It brings investment to the area and delivers additional indirect economic opportunities to local businesses including local grocery stores, restaurants, cafés, accommodation providers and petrol stations

  • For more information, click here to download the project factsheet