Plan to develop solar farm near Mooroopna

By Thomas Moir

Greater Shepparton City Council has formally advertised its intention to enter into a 25-year lease for a solar farm on GV Link land south of Mooroopna.

The proposed lease also has an option to extend the lease for a further 25 years.

The land in question is east of Toolamba Rd and the railway line.

A public notice from the council details that the lease start date is conditional upon the tenant procuring all necessary approvals and finance for the proposed construction and operation of the solar farm and the requisite power purchase agreements to secure long-term revenues for the sale of electricity.

The notice says the starting rent will be $30000 per year plus GST, subject to CPI adjustments and a market review on exercise of the option.

The permitted use will be for construction and use for a major solar farm with a minimum capacity of 10 megawatts, it continues, while the tenant is to provide council with a deposit for an agreed sum as security for the performance of the tenant’s obligations under the lease.

Anyone wishing to make a submission on the proposal can do so by February 1.

Last month, the council flagged its intention to enter into a lease with Goulburn Valley Community Energy on a $40million solar farm for GV Link land south of Mooroopna.

GVCE Mooroopna Solar indicated to the council that the proposed solar farm would be able to generate up to 23MW per year.

Councillors in December voted to provide public notice of the council’s intention to enter into a lease agreement.

GVCE chief executive Geoff Lodge last month described the council’s decision of intention to lease the land as a ‘‘significant milestone’’ for the project.

‘‘They now need to advertise that; that’s a significant step for us,’’ he said.

Mr Lodge at the time estimated the proposed facility would feature 62 000 panels across a 30ha area.

He said it could provide enough electricity for 6500 homes at any one time and provide more than 100 construction jobs in building the facility.