New solar farm approved for Victoria

Solar farm panels (Hillson Solar Farm)

A new solar farm to be built north of Shepparton has been approved by the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne has approved the Congupna solar farm proposal, which will produce 68MW of clean energy and power approximately 22,600 homes.

Minister Wynne says this will help drive down energy prices and create around 250 new jobs.

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

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The project will be built on non-irrigated agricultural land and drive around $38 million in capital expenditure.

Minister Wynne has also released draft planning guidelines for the development of large solar projects across the state.

The Solar Energy Facilities – Design and Development Guidelines will help inform councils, developers and communities on planning requirements for the large solar farm facilities. This is 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.

It also includes a Best Practice Guide for Proponents to help developers engage with communities, and minimise the environmental and social impacts of their proposals.

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

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