Contentious 175MW solar trio approved by Victoria state government

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Source: Neoen

Victoria’s state government has given the greenlight to three contentious solar farms that have a total capacity of 175MW.

The projects in question are all in the Shepparton region of northern Victoria. The 100MW, AU$175 million (US$118 million) Lemnos farm is being developed by French renewables firm Neoen. The 30MW, AU$34 million (US$23 million) Tallygaroopna project is backed by Spain’s X-Elio, and Australian solar developer CleanGen is behind the 45MW, AU$40 million (US$27 million) Tatura East farm.

The farms have been met by fierce opposition by local farmers, according to reports on The Weekly Times, Farm Online and ABC. Their concerns related to the loss of prime agricultural land that has benefitted from substantial government grants to upgrade its irrigation capacity.

Shepparton district is part of the Goulburn-Murray irrigation district (GMID) that spans northern Victoria. It is the country’s ‘foodbowl,’ producing AU$5.9 billion (US$4 billion) worth of dairy, fruit, vegetables, meat and cereals every year, according to GMID statistics. One in three jobs are on farms, in farm services and in food processing.

The approval for the solar farm trio is the result of a “thorough and independent planning process that included community consultation” according to a government statement. Richard Wynne, planning minister for Victoria, said authorities “had done the work to address local concerns and made sure all potential impacts on irrigation farmland and the district more broadly were considered in the decision.”

In July, the Labor state government released new planning guidelines for large-scale solar farms, but they are are yet to be incorporated into its planning scheme. These three projects were therefore assessed against the old framework.

The future guidelines – due to launch in a matter of weeks – will prevent solar development that is not aligned with water corporation assets, according to the government. They will provide guidance on community consultation, as well as relieving the burden on local councils by making the state’s minister for planning the responsible authority for all large-scale solar applications.

Read Next

September 23, 2021
A project that bids to combine up to 20GW of solar PV with the world’s largest energy storage battery and a 4,200km-long subsea power cable has moved a step forward after Indonesian authorities greenlit its proposed transmission cable route.
September 20, 2021
Australian companies plan to spend AUS$5.1 billion (US$3.7 billion) on offshore gas exploration over the next six years, which is enough to develop 2.5GW of renewables capacity and generate close to 5,000 jobs
September 20, 2021
Mining company Rio Tinto has revealed plans for a new solar project and battery energy storage system that will help to decarbonise an off-grid mine in the Australian state of Queensland.
September 16, 2021
Renewables developer Amp Energy has secured financing for a 120MW solar installation in the Australian state of New South Wales that is expected to begin energisation in early 2022.
September 16, 2021
Australia’s government has committed AU$19.2 million (US$14 million) to implement the recommendations of a new report that that aims to improve regulation and compliance in the country’s rooftop solar sector.
September 13, 2021
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will support projects that further lower the cost of renewable generation as part of a new investment strategy aimed at underpinning the transition to net zero emissions.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021