ANOTHER solar farm could be on its way, but it has to get through Campaspe Shire Council approval and the backlash it has received from nearby residents first.
The 30 MW structure is being proposed by Australian company GloBird Energy on 45 ha across two lots on either side of Downing Rd, Stanhope.
As well as the solar farm, GloBird hopes to construct a 100 MW storage battery, at a total project cost of $150 million.
‘‘The project will produce 41 million kilowatt-hours of green energy per year, enough for 11,100 homes,’’ GloBird renewables and disruptives manager Luke Scott said.
‘‘Victoria’s biggest battery would make this green energy available at any time. It will reduce Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 53,000 tonnes per year,’’ Mr Scott said.
‘‘The project is estimated to create 75 full-time jobs during construction, two full-time jobs during operation, as well as part-time roles for site and cattle maintenance.
‘‘The project has already created a lot of work for local part-time cattlemen and gardeners — and has also leased land to a neighbouring farmer.
‘‘The two solar farms approved at Lancaster and Girgarre and possible farms at Shepparton will change the grid.
‘‘None have storage. GloBird’s solar and storage site offers grid support to Stanhope, Kyabram, Rochester, Shepparton and surrounding areas.’’
Some residents near the proposed solar farm location, at 3799 Midland Hwy, Stanhope, have already opposed the plan and were now attempting to organise more people to stop the project from going ahead.
Tracey McArthur, who lives on Downing Rd, which is one of the proposed access roads, was concerned about the extra traffic and noise that would certainly be produced during construction.
‘‘The application states 40 heavy vehicle movements (a truck going into and out of a property is considered two movements) per week (to the site),’’ Ms McArthur said.
‘‘That’s (only) enough to get the batteries in. All the estimates are laughable. It’s just a joke. It’s just ridiculous.’’
Mr Scott reassured concerned residents that noise from the site would not outdo the level permitted by the EPA and that VicRoads required traffic studies, traffic management plans and road maintenance as conditions of its support.
He also said the project would be designed to work with grazing and the agricultural land would remain productive.
The objectors have taken the matter into their own hands and launched a mail blitz, urging people to send their letters to Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne, urging him to call in this solar farm as he has done for the Greater Shepparton proposals.
Campaspe Shire councillors are expected to vote on the project at a meeting this month.