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Solar power farm gets a green light

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April 25, 2018

A SOLAR farm has been given the green light to be built in Lancaster after a unanimous decision by Campaspe Shire Council.

A SOLAR farm has been given the green light to be built in Lancaster after a unanimous decision by Campaspe Shire Council.

Despite 12 objections being received on the planned 100 megawatt solar energy facility the farm will go ahead at 1106 Park Rd.

The proposal is to install 300,000 photovoltaic panels across 172ha which are to be connected to the 66kV Shepparton-Kyabram powerline that is owned and operated by Powercor.

Mayor Adrian Weston removed himself from the chair so he could speak to the item.

‘‘This is a first in Campaspe Shire,’’ he said.

‘‘From a local prospective this is a relatively large solar facility and with this decision we have to balance the pros and cons to come to an acceptable outcome.

‘‘I have placed quite exhaustive conditions on this and I have a high level of comfort that this is the most acceptable outcome.’’

Of the four speakers at the meeting, three were objectors.

Jan Davidson who owns a farm next to the proposed land said her main concern was the potential rise in temperature.

‘‘I am not opposed to solar farms, I have solar panels myself, but the negatives far outweigh the benefits,’’ she said.

‘‘My property will be severely affected in many ways including the increase in temperature.

‘‘There is a potential for it to increase by four degrees.’’

Carolynne Hubble owns a dairy farm opposite the site.

And her main concern was the future land health.

‘‘Will this impact the future land structure?’’ she said.

‘‘There will also be increase in traffic along the road.’’

Esco Pacific, the company heading the project, said they have analysed land and have had extensive consultation with Goulburn Murray Water and Powercor.

‘‘This site was the most suitable environment,’’ head of development Allison Hawke said.

‘‘We consider areas in the network that are large enough to cater for the solar farm as well as being close enough to the main grid.

‘‘Glare must also be considered and the panels are black to absorb the light.’’

All councillors voted in favour of the planning permit.

Once operational the solar farm is expected to be at that site for 40 years.

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