A planning permit application for the Axedale Solar Farm has been submitted to the City of Greater Bendigo and Campaspe Shire Council.
The councils, as the consent authorities for the project, have published the planning permit application on their websites to allow for public comments as part of their assessment and determination process.
UPC\AC Renewables Australia is proposing to construct the 180-megawatt solar farm and battery storage system on a 365 hectare non-irrigated, mostly cleared site used for sheep and cattle grazing and dry land cropping. The solar and energy storage project will create up to 300 jobs during construction and provide enough clean renewable energy to power 55,000 homes via the Victorian electricity grid.
Discussions on the project with nearby landowners and the local community have been taking place for the past 12 months as part of the project development. Detailed on-site biodiversity surveys, aboriginal cultural heritage assessments and traffic impact studies have also been completed, as well as desk-top based hydrology modelling, visual amenity assessments and other studies.
The planning permit application documentation describes the project design and construction, as well as outlining measures to protect and minimise environmental impacts.
Some of the measures being proposed for the project include:
High potential for sheep grazing in and around the rows of solar panels;
A 30 metre no go zone around a minor watercourse and patches of remnant vegetation;
A 15 metre buffer around larger native gum trees; and
Potential screening with native vegetation along a boundary line.
A cultural heritage management plan for the project is also being developed in close consultation with the Taungurung Land and Waters Council, as representatives of the Traditional Aboriginal owners of the land on which the site is located.
An assessment of potential bushfire risks has also been completed, outlining the measures to protect the site from grassfire.
The planning documents can be viewed on the City of Greater Bendigo website and the Campaspe Shire Council website. The documents are open for submissions for two weeks.
To make a comment or ask a question of the project team email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 515 122. Local business or suppliers interested in working with us on the solar development can submit an expression of interest here.