October 9 (Renewables Now) - The Victorian government on Monday said it has approved a 68-MW solar project as it released draft planning guidelines for developing large-scale photovoltaic (PV) schemes across the Aussie state.
In a press release, the government said the permission concerns the Congupna solar farm proposal, which envisages the construction of a PV farm on agricultural land near Shepparton, in the northern part of the state. Around 250 jobs will be created during the construction phase, while the plant is expected to produce enough electricity to supply 22,600 homes, once operational. The project is seen to require around AUD 38 million (USD 26.9m/EUR 23.4m) in capital expenditure.
Meanwhile, the government said it has put off a decision for three other solar projects in the same area, namely the 68-MW Tallygaroopna, 100-MW Lemnos and 45-MW Tatura East solar parks. The deferral is based on the forthcoming completion of further strategic work for the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District.
Separately, the government unveiled new draft guidelines to help inform councils, developers and communities on planning requirements for the development of large-scale solar projects. They will seek to ensure that those facilities are installed at the right location and offer easy access to the grid and that the proposals “give careful consideration” to highly-productive agricultural areas and sensitive landscapes.
The guidelines are available for public comment until March 1, 2019.
(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.709/EUR 0.617)