As a partner in Hepburn Z-NET, Hepburn Wind has begun developing a mid-scale solar farm that will offset local emissions by producing renewable energy. This solar farm will generate enough energy to power approximately 1500+ residential homes and deliver community benefits through the Hepburn Wind Community Fund.


Located 10km south of Daylesford on the Ballan-Daylesford Road, the solar farm will be co-located with the two existing turbines ‘Gale and Gusto’ at the Leonards Hill site.

About the project

In 2017 Hepburn Wind installed a solar monitoring device to determine if Leonards Hill would be suitable for solar. With positive results, the co-operative began seeking pro-bono advice to map the potential of a community-owned solar farm.

Early feasibility work demonstrated that mid-scale solar at the Leonards Hill site could double the co-operatives renewable energy capacity. With 7.44MW of solar, the solar farm would abate the emissions of an additional 1500+ residential homes and create meaningful income for the community and members.

In November 2018 Hepburn Wind received a $500,000 grant from the State Governments’ Community Renewables Program. Since then a number of detailed technical assessments have been completed for the project.

In November 2020, Hepburn Wind submitted our planning permit for a 7.44MW solar farm with the potential to add a 10MWh battery storage facility in the future.

Refer to our timeline below for a breakdown of the project milestones.

  • April 2018

    Project Feasibility

  • November 2018

    Secured $500,000 grant

  • December 2019 - October 2020

    Detailed assessment

  • Late 2020

    Planning permit submission

  • Mid 2021

    Financing, preconstruction, construction and operation

Project documentation

Hepburn Wind submitted our planning permit to DELWP in November 2020. Many key documents that were part of the wind farm planning process have been utilised where possible. Hepburn Wind will transparently list any key documents as they become available. Please read through the relevant documents listed below if you would like more information on planning processes or compliance activities.

Solar Resource and Energy Assessment

Review of Ecological Assessments

Power System Study

Project partners

Hepburn Wind is most grateful to all of the pro bono and discounted work that partner organisations have contributed towards the project. We would like to thank DNV GL, Coffeys, Kinelli Solar, Meralli Solar, Powercor, Renew, Fulcrum 3D, Ecology and Heritage Partners, Energy Forms, Ashurst Legal, Bleyer Lawyers, Middleton Group, Enhar, Geordie Scott-Walker Ecological Consulting Services, Fire Management Consultants, SMA, Laser Electrical, Vestas, Latitude Design, Marshall Day, Nielsson, Noel and Holmes Pty Ltd, PPT Accounting, Gamcorp. 


  • 1. Why are we developing a solar farm?

    Hepburn Wind is a key partner in the Z-NET Community Transition Pilot which aims to reach zero-net energy by 2025 and zero-net emissions by 2030. Hepburn Wind is well placed to contribute to the 2025 target as the co-operative has both the technical capacity and physical infrastructure needed to build a mid-scale solar farm. This solar farm would more than double Hepburn Wind’s renewable generation capacity and would benefit our co-operative members with stronger financial returns.

    2. Is solar an efficient and reliable way to produce electricity?

    Solar is a highly efficient way to produce electricity and combined with wind, the energy profile will be far more consistent than if it were solar or wind alone.

  • 3. Do emissions from manufacturing solar outweigh benefits?

    No, it is a common misconception. Most good quality solar panels will offset the carbon needed to manufacture, ship and install them within the first two years of operation.

    4. Who is the Responsible Authority for this project?

    The Responsible Authority for this planning permit is DELWP.

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