News

Congupna solar farm green light

By Country News

The 68MW solar farm proposal at Congupna will become reality after Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne gave it the tick of approval.

On top of this, he has also announced a draft set of guidelines which are open for public comment until early next year.

The project will be built on 102ha of non-irrigated agricultural land and will power the equivalent of 22600 homes.

‘‘The Congupna solar farm will create more than 250 new jobs and produce 30 megawatts of new, clean energy — helping to drive down energy prices,’’ Mr Wynne said.

‘‘We’re working with industry and community to make sure solar farm developments deliver the right outcomes for communities, the environment and jobs.’’

The long-awaited draft guidelines, which have been called for by objectors and politicians, will help inform councils, developers and communities on planning requirements for the large solar farm facilities to ensure they are built in the right locations, are easily accessible to the grid and that proposals give careful consideration to high productivity agricultural areas and sensitive landscapes.

‘‘These new guidelines will provide more certainty to the community, and more confidence to invest in major solar farms like the one at Congupna,’’ Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said.

A decision on the Tallygaroopna, Lemnos and Tatura East solar farm applications have been deferred until further strategic work is completed for the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District.

■The Solar Energy Facilities – Design and Development Guidelines are open for public comment until March 1, 2019 and can be found at: www.planning.vic.gov.au/policy-and-strategy/solar-energy-facilities-design-and-development-draft-guidelines