Greenough River Solar Farm's Hollomy Foundation Scholarship First Graduate

Greenough River Solar Farm was delighted to learn that, with thanks in part to Greenough's scholarship donation to the Hollomby Foundation, the first student graduated from Geraldton University in April  2016 with an Associate Degree of Engineering.

Ms Brady was presented with her degree by Professor Lyn Karstadt, Executive Dean of the University of Southern Queensland Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences at the April 2016 ceremony.  We wish Ms Brady well in her future engineering career.

Greenough River Solar Farm Community Support Initiative

 Australia's biggest commercial solar farm continues to generate benefits for the MidWest community, thanks to $20 million from the State Government, with $10 million being from Royalties for Regions funding.

Opened in 2012, the Greenough River Solar Farm 50kms south of Geraldton has been producing about 22,000 megawatt hours (MWh) a year of clean energy - that's enough for about 3000 average households.

Now the GRSF company will provide educational benefits for the Mid West region through a funding arrangement reached with the Hollomby Foundation which has been supporting local university students since 2010.  GRSF will contribute $200,000 over five years to the Hollomby Foundation, to benefit local students and initiatives at the Geraldton Universities Centre.

GRSF General Manager, Hugh Webster said the company was very pleased to be able to support such a successful and worthwhile local educational initiative.

"It's important that regional students have the same opportunity to further their studies and their careers locally. Scholarships and other means of support financed by our community support initiative will help fulfil that objective.

"What is particularly pleasing is that the solar farm could be used for renewable energy research. As the first solar farm in Australia, and located in one of the best solar and wind energy sites, GRSF is ripe for some research initiatives

"I foresee some ground breaking research initiatives coming out of our funding arrangement," Mr Webster said.

GRSF will provide $40,000 a year for five years to Hollomby Foundation to be used for "science, engineering, technology and renewable initiatives and associated scholarships.

Founder of the Hollomby Foundation, Ian Wheatland, said this was the most substantial donation to have been made to the Foundation.

“This support is most significant and will allow GUC to provide outstanding opportunities for local students in science and technology fields,” he said. “For a local enterprise to recognise the importance of giving back to its community and developing our next generation is particularly heartening.”

MidWest Development Commission Chairman, Murray Criddle said it is fantastic that Greenough River Solar Farm is investing into the region’s future through the students studying at GUC.

GUC Chair Steve Douglas thanked GRSF for their generous support and hoped this would inspire other businesses to follow suit.

Greenough River Solar Farm is owned 50/50 by Verve Energy (now Synergy) and GE Energy Financial Services. GRSF has 150,000 solar photovoltaic panels on the 50 hectare site on the Nangetty-Walkaway Road. One local person is full time employed on the operation and maintenance of the solar farm and is in turn supported by a number of local contractors.



Natalie Nelmes, Geraldton Universities Centre



Greenough River Solar Farm Community Open Day Friday 27 September 2013

We are pleased to again be opening the gates of Greenough River Solar Farm for interested members of the public on Friday 27 September 2013 between 12 and 4pm.  


This exciting event is to be held in conjunction with the offical opening of nearby Mumbida Wind Farm.  Free coaches will be operating regularly from the Bill Sewell Complex in Geraldton.  The guided tours (approximately 2.5 hours) will visit the solar farm before heading to Mumbida Wind Farm where guests can enjoy a free sausage sizzle and giveaways, view the inside of a wind turbine and enter into the "Name the Turbine" competition.

Places are limited so to reserve your seat, please call (08) 9964 6044 or email!

Public Open Day 11 October 2012

The Public Open Day, hosted by Greenough River Solar Farm aided by local business, was held Thurday 11 October 2012 in recognition of the interest and support received from the residents of the City of Greater Geraldton during the construction phase.  Despite the strong wind and hoardes of flies, the solar farm welcomed nearly 300 guests through the gates on the day.  Whilst overlooking the solar farm, visitors had opportunity to take in a visual display of the construction process and speak with members of the project team.  Guests then undertook a driving tour around the permieter of the solar farm before returning to the marquee to enjoy a sausage sizzle and submit their entries for the "Name the Array" competition.  Please click for photographs of the day.

The winner of the "Name the Array" competition is Jessie Short (10) of Walkaway with her entry "Solar Sensation".  Jessie has received her prize and a plaque will be erected onsite late November.

We would like to extend our special thanks to the following local businesses for their contribution to this successful event:-

  • Walkaway Primary P&C

  • Geraldton Coach Lines

  • Mick Davey Butchers

  • Coles Geraldton

  • Jodie McGuire Events, Functions & Marketing
Official Opening 10 October 2012

On Wednesday 10 October 2012, the Greenough River Solar Farm was officially "switched on" by the WA Minister for Energy Peter Collier who hailed it as a "celebration of Australia's renewable energy future".  The Minister was joined by landholders, community members and representatives of the joint venture partners Verve Energy and GE Energy Financial Services to celebrate the opening of the solar farm which is now in operation after a year of planning, construction and testing.  The 10-megawatt project is expected to generate  enough solar energy to power 3,000 homes and displace 20,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases every year.  The plant's output will be purchased by the WA Water Corporation to help offset the energy requirements of its Southern Seawater Desalination Plant.

Greenough River Solar Farm is owned 50/50 by Verve Energy and GE Energy Financial Services, with the WA Government having provided A$20 million in funding, including A$10 million from the WA Royalities for Regions program.  First Solar supplied the 150,000 PV panels and provided engineering, procurement and construction services for the plant and will continue to provide operations and maintenance service for the coming fifteen years.

Jason Waters, Verve Energy CEO stated "with this landmark project now complete, partners Verve Energy and GE Energy Financial Services are now evaluating the possibility of expanding the plant to up to 40-megawatts to satisfy growing demand for renewable energy".