Solar extension feedback sought
One of the latest solar developments in the Benalla Rural City area is set to be extended, and operators are keen for some community feedback.
Lightsource BP, along with Urbis and Urban Unity, the consultancy team appointed to undertake environmental planning and community engagement, is hosting a community information event in Winton on August 28.
At the consultation they will outline their proposal to extend their approved 15 MW Mokoan Solar Farm at Lee Rd, Winton, with an additional 30 MW on a block of land at Nelson Rd, Winton.
The 15 MW project was approved by Benalla Rural City Council in January following community engagement last year.
Lightsource BP wishes to give residents and interested parties an opportunity to find out more about the approved project, this proposed extension and the company.
As well as developing sites, Lightsource BP manages the solar farms throughout their entire lifecycle, and as part of that longterm approach, hopes to establish a good relationship with its neighbours.
Lightsource BP Australia country manager Adam Pegg said he was eager to meet with the community.
‘‘This community information evening is an opportunity for us to present our plans and research to the local community, and to have an open and transparent discussion with residents,’’ Mr Pegg said.
‘‘We’re hosting the event to open up a two-way discussion about the project — we’ll be providing information on why this particular area has been chosen, as well as the numerous benefits of our proposal.’’
The event will be held at the Mokoan Hub and Cafe´ at Winton Wetlands on Wednesday, August 28.
People can drop in any time between 3 pm and 7 pm to speak to representatives from the project team.
The solar installation expansion would have a capacity of about 30 MW, generating enough clean and renewable energy to power 9500 households and save 45 400 tonnes of carbon emissions every year, the equivalent of removing 16 400 cars from the road.
The construction of the proposed installation would also create about 150 skilled construction jobs in the region, as well as two ongoing roles during operation.
This proposed extension will connect into the existing Glenrowan Terminal Station on the opposite side of the Hume Hwy via the approved Mokoan Solar Farm. With the extension, the project would generate a total of 45MW.
Since the state government has committed to a target of 50 per cent renewable energy generation by 2030, the installation Lightsource BP is proposing, and others like it, will make an important contribution to this target.
The proposal has been designed to retain existing vegetation, where practicable.
The solar farm is also designed to allow for sheep grazing beneath and between the rows of panels, preserving an agricultural co-use, alongside solar energy generation.
Lightsource BP solar installations can also support bee keeping, which has been shown to increase biodiversity, and may be an additional couse for the land in the future.
Residents can obtain further information on the project, at any time, by getting in touch with the Lightsource BP and the Urbis project team at mokoanconsultation@urbis. com.au