‘Balanced’ plans for Glenellen Solar Farm now on exhibition

Concept plans for the Hume Region’s newest solar farm have been released for public consideration.

If approved, the 200-megawatt (MW) Glenellen Solar Farm will help NSW reach its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and increase much-needed supplies of clean energy available for customers connected to the State’s electricity grid.

Project Owner, Trinasolar Energy Development, has successfully installed thousands of rooftop solar panel installations across Australia and sees this move to delivery of a larger-scale solar facility as ‘a logical next step’.

“Glenellen Solar Farm has the potential to provide emissions-free power to the growing regional population of Greater Hume, as well as business and industry in Sydney and Melbourne,” Project Development Manager Dave Allen said.

“The site is also ideal as its flat, relatively clear land and there is already a high voltage electrical substation on the site, so we can tap into this to supply power to the grid without the need for additional overhead transmission poles and wires,” he said.

Renewable energy produced by the solar farm will be sufficient to power over 94,000 homes.  Additionally, money provided by Trinasolar to the Greater Hume Council via an agreed development contribution will be utilised to support development of new regional infrastructure and community facilities.

Consultation with adjacent neighbours has been ongoing since the project was acquired by Trinasolar earlier this year.

“Neighbours to the project have raised concerns like visual screening, site access, high levels of construction traffic and noise,” Mr Allen said.

“As a result of this feedback we have increased the green corridor setback of the solar farm from boundaries and added additional vegetation and tree plantings to further screen the solar farm from neighbours’ views.

“We’re very thankful for how neighbours are engaging with us – it’s been a pragmatic, constructive process and it has challenged us to deliver a design that we think balances the need for more clean energy with the need to protect the regional amenity,” he said.

Other key features of the project include:

  •  The Project will use latest-technology bi-facial mono-crystalline silicon solar cells that capture light from both sides of the solar panels.
  •  Significant streams and riparian corridors will be excluded from the development footprint and dams will be retained to provide water for livestock.
  •  Sheep grazing and cropping of Lucerne for fodder will be re-introduced ‘at scale’ once the solar farm is complete – maintaining agricultural output from the site.
  •  Collection of cultural heritage artefacts will be done in partnership with the local Registered Aboriginal Party prior to any works commencing.
  •  Four 10,000 litre water tanks will be installed at the site as a bushfire prevention measure.
  • Nominated Heavy vehicle transport routes are proposed to minimise public amenity and inconvenience residents.

While the project’s design has been sited to limit impacts to native vegetation and woodland, approx. four hectares of native trees, shrubs and grasses may be removed during construction.

“Suitably matched native vegetation offset credits will be acquired to account for these losses,” Mr Allen said.

“Further, an additional 200 native trees & shrubs will be planted at the Glenellen Solar Farm site as part of developing vegetation shelter belts and visual impact buffers,” he said.

Full details for the Glenellen Solar Farm proposal – including an interactive map – are currently available at www.glenellensolarfarm.com.au

Public comments are invited and will be considered by the NSW Department of Planning and Industry as part of the project development approvals process.

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