We want the Axedale Solar Farm to be a valued and important part of the local community for many years to come.
Listening to the local community
We’ve been talking directly to landowners, our neighbours and the local community about this project for the past 12 months. We have also been meeting representatives from the City of Greater Bendigo, Campaspe Shire Council, Taungurung Land and Waters Council, other important stakeholders and community members to help us improve our plans as much as possible.
Detailed on-site biodiversity surveys, cultural heritage assessments, hydrology modelling, traffic assessments and other studies have also been completed.
We will continue to work with members of the community and listen to their views during the assessment, construction and operation phases of the project to make sure it’s a valuable and well-respected part of the local community.
Supporting jobs and economic development
The solar farm is expected to generate up to 250 jobs at peak construction plus an additional 50 construction jobs if the battery storage facility is installed. Several ongoing jobs will also be required over the solar farm’s expected 25-30-year life.
There will be opportunities for local suppliers and businesses as well as employment opportunities during construction, in particular, PV module installers. There will also be sub-contracting opportunities for tradespeople such as electricians, maintenance workers, fencing contractors, plumbers and other workers
It is also expected that there would be a positive flow on effect to the local and regional economy from the project. The money spent by workers in the region during construction will boost household incomes and indirect jobs across the region, continuing over the life of the solar farm as a result of activities related to operations and maintenance.
Sheep can continue to graze in and around the solar panels, which means the agricultural connection to the land can be maintained, while also providing supplementary income for project landowners.
UPC\AC Renewables intends to work with contractors that prioritise local businesses, workers and suppliers with the right skills match to help us deliver and maintain this project. You can register your interest to work on the project by completing this Expression of Interest form.
Community and stakeholder input and feedback is important to UPC. We will provide opportunities for the community and stakeholders to work with us throughout the stages of the Axedale Solar Farm. For details of upcoming meetings and activities, visit our Project Update page.
Looking after the environment and our neighbours
Initially, a 624-hectare site was investigated for the project area. However, that site was reduced to about 365 hectares, after further studies and consultation. A number of additional measures are also being proposed to protect the local environment and cultural heritage, secure agricultural production and reduce the risk of grass fires. This includes:
Sheep grazing in and around the solar panels, which will be installed in rows spaced 5.5-8m apart
A 30 metre no go zone around a minor watercourse and patches of remnant vegetation
A 15 metre buffer around larger native gum trees
Potential screening with native vegetation along a boundary line
Asset protection zone around the permitter of the solar farm
Supporting the local community
If the project is approved, a Community Benefit Sharing Initiative will be established to help support local initiatives. UPC\AC Renewables will provide funding linked to the final megawatts (MWs) of power generating capacity that is installed at the Axedale Solar Farm, with this continuing over its working life.
A local Community Reference Group will be established to further develop the funding model and help guide this ongoing investment for the benefit of the local community.
Use this form to contact us about any other community partnerships or sponsorship opportunities.
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