Per­mit bid to build a $150m so­lar farm

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News - BY STEVE KELLY skelly@ ne­me­

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.

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