The proposed Parkesbourne Solar Farm is on track, with community consultation underway and an Environmental Impact Statement to be completed early in the year, according to the proponents.
If it goes ahead, the project will be one of the largest solar farms in the country.
The 600MW solar farm would be on about 2000 hectares of cleared, flat, freehold land east of Breadalbane that is separated by the Hume Highway. It is located about 15km south-west of Goulburn.
According to a Preliminary Environmental Assessment lodged with NSW Planning and Environment on August 15 lat year, the capital investment listed for the project is $600 million and it is proposed to create 300 jobs during construction and 25 ongoing positions.
It would comprise solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, steel racking and piled supports, electrical transformers and inverters, battery storage, electrical cabling, telecommunications equipment, security fencing, a site office, maintenance building and car park facilities.
The proponents, CWP Renewables development manager Ed Mounsey said the company was completing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
”The studies that form part of the EIS are well underway. We expect the EIS to be ready for public exhibition in around March/April 2019,” Mr Mounsey said.
He said CWP Renewables Pty Ltd had been undertaking community consultation.
“We have a team that has been meeting regularly meeting with residents local to the project in Parkesbourne and Breadalbane, including several rounds of door-knocking and pre-arranged meeting,” he said.
“We have also distributed project newsletters and updated residents about the progress of the project development.”
“Community discussions have played a key role in shaping the proposed development, which has helped define the scope of the EIS. It is anticipated that a public open day information session will be held to coincide with the EIS exhibition and further information will be released regarding that event as it comes nearer.”
Mr Mounsey said the project was still planned to be of the scale initially proposed.
“It is of a similar scale to what was originally proposed. We have gone through a process of understanding and incorporating feedback and further including any potential environmental, constructability and engineering constraints,” he said.
“This process will continue through public exhibition of the EIS and subsequent assessment by the Department of Planning and Environment.”
He said government vacillation on energy policy had not stalled the project.
“There have been no hurdles. The energy policy debate will continue, particularly with it being an election year. However our focus is on developing a renewable energy project that is accepted by the community, creates the opportunity for local jobs, and ultimately delivers lowest cost energy into the National Energy Market,” he said.
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