News and Events


Chaff Mill Solar Farm: A plan to harness the power of the sun and create jobs in your community

November 3, 2017

Leading Australian solar developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) is preparing a development application for a proposed 100MW solar farm 3.5km north-east of Mintaro. FRV is working on a preliminary design for the proposed solar farm, which could generate enough clean energy to power up to 60,000 homes for South Australian families. This would be achieved by connecting the farm to the electricity network via a Tee Connection to an existing 132kV transmission line running from the adjacent Mintaro substation to the Waterloo substation, which is owned and managed by AEMO-ElectraNet.

Planning and environmental considerations

The proposed Chaff Mill Solar Farm is subject to development approvals through the South Australian Government’s Development Assessment Commission. Environmental studies have commenced. These will be completed during the design phase to ensure that any potential impacts on native vegetation, birds or animals are minimised. Subject to development approval, FRV seeks to commence construction late 2020 and start generating energy 12 to 18 months later. The solar farm would have an operating life of 30 years.

An ideal location to generate energy for South Australians

South Australia is nationally recognised as a leader in clean energy production. The proposed Chaff Mill Solar Farm can further the development of the Australian clean energy industry and make a significant contribution to South Australia’s energy production. The 380 hectare site is approximately 130 kilometres north of Adelaide, is well placed to capture and export solar energy into the national electricity grid from the nearby Mintaro substation and its existing 132kV transmission line to Waterloo.

This site was selected because of its proximity to grid infrastructure, good drainage and largely cleared land. The level of solar irradiation also makes it a suitable site for a solar farm. Operation of Chaff Mill Solar Farm would deliver clean, zero emissions electricity to meet the region’s energy needs and would have significantly lower environmental impacts relative to other electricity generation methods. FRV plans to use the latest in solar energy generation technology: PV-Polycrystalline modules with a horizontal, single-axis tracking system. The panels, including the mounting structures, would be no more than three metres from ground level.

Economic benefits

Should the project proceed, FRV would employ up to 200 workers during construction. Operation of Chaff Mill Solar Farm would create up to five ongoing jobs. In addition, the project would attract investment to the area and deliver additional indirect economic opportunities to local businesses including local grocery stores, restaurants, cafés, accommodation providers and petrol stations.

Find out more

Community and stakeholder engagement on the proposed Chaff Mill Solar Farm is underway. Engagement will inform the planning process and encourage the community to offer feedback, including an alternative name for the proposed solar farm. FRV will have discussions with State Parliamentary members, as well as the local council, community interest groups and local people as planning progresses.

FRV Updates


Moree Solar Farm began operations in 2016 and was the first large-scale solar project in Australia to use a single-axis tracking system.


Lilyvale Solar Farm near Emerald, Queensland (100MW)

Financial close of the Lilyvale Solar Farm was achieved during September 2017 with operations expected to commence in 2018. The project will benefit from a PPA with Ergon Energy, the QLD-government owned retailer, part of the Energy Queensland group, who will purchase 100% of the electricity generated by the project.