Permit bid to build a $150m solar farm
VISUAL impact of a proposed 120-megawatt solar farm at Glenrowan has been flagged as an area of concern for nearby residents to the intended site.
Applicant ESCO Pacific Pty Ltd has lodged a planning permit which is now on public exhibition until June 6.
The developer plans to build a solar farm on 245 hectares of land 2.1km west of Glenrowan, a facility that will hook up to the electricity grid via the Winton power station.
It has a project cost of $150-$170 million and will involve the installation of 360,000 solar panels on cleared land currently owned by the Simmonds family.
A visual impact assessment report - prepared by ESCO Pacific - details that each panel will have a maximum height of four metres above ground level and each unit will operate on a rotation range of 120 degrees from east to west.
The report states there is the potential for a high level of visual impact for two residential dwellings.
However, developers intend to reduce visual impact on the dwellings by landscape mitigation with the use of vegetation to screen the long stretch of solar panels.
The report states that “the seen area analysis shows that the project would be visible from a short section of the Hume Freeway publicly and the Glenrowan Winton Road”.
“This is due to the relatively flat nature of the landscape to the north of the project and low hills towards the south,” the report reads.
“Existing vegetation located along roadsides, property boundaries and fence lines would filter or screen views to the project from most other locations.”
According to the report, the overall visual impact of the project from publicly accessible locations would be nil from Glenrowan; low to negligible from local roads; low- negligible from the Hume Freeway; and negligible from public reserves and recreational areas.
Any person who may be affected by the granting of a permit may object or make a submission (must be in writing).
For more information contact the Rural City Of Wangaratta’s town planning unit on (03) 5722 0888.