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ACT solar farm project moved from Uriarra to Williamsdale

By Canfan - 24 March 2015 10

The ACT Government has shelved plans to build a solar farm near Uriarra. Following opposition from residents, the 26,000-panel solar farm will instead be built in Williamsdale.

Here’s the media release from Simon Corbell’s office:

The ACT Government has agreed to license parts of blocks 1470 and 1471 District of Tuggeranong (Williamsdale) to Elementus Energy as an alternative location for its OneSun Capital solar project, originally proposed for Coree, near Uriarra Village, Minister for the Environment Simon Corbell announced today.

Mr Corbell said under the feed-in-tariff arrangements made through the reverse solar auction process it was the proponent’s responsibility to secure all of the necessary approvals for their proposed site.  Elementus Energy has indicated it will not be seeking any change to the feed-in-tariff price it bid in the reverse auction.

“The government has a vision for Canberra to be Australia’s solar capital and Elementus Energy’s proposed solar farm is a key part of this vision,” Mr Corbell said.

“We are mindful of the concerns raised by stakeholders about the current site for the project at Coree and we understand Elementus’ consideration of Williamsdale as an alternative location may achieve a better outcome.

“The Williamsdale site has previously had planning and environmental work undertaken on it to allow its use as a solar farm, so I am hopeful that it again proves suitable for this purpose.

“There are only a small number of residents within a 2.5km radius of the proposed solar farm site and they have been informed of the renewed investigations. All those residents were involved in previous planning processes for a solar farm and raised no objections.

“I believe this could be a much better way forward for the community and for Elementus.”

Managing director of Elementus, Ashleigh Antflick, welcomed the Government’s willingness to consider alternatives to the Coree site.

“We are pleased that the Government has agreed to licence this site to us – with a view to leasing in the future – should we secure development approval,” Mr Antflick said.

“We will now undertake required processes followed by a development application in order confirm the feasibility of establishing our solar farm on this site.  If this new location achieves all necessary approvals we hope to be able to begin construction in the second half of this year.”

The government has recently acquired blocks 1470, 1471 and 1405 in the District of Tuggeranong (at Williamsdale) for a variety of uses into the future.  Any licence and lease to Elementus will be at market rate.

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10 Responses to
ACT solar farm project moved from Uriarra to Williamsdale
Southmouth 6:08 am 26 Mar 15

Once something is determined to be Critical Infrastructure by the feds, it should not be available to be sold to a foreign government. In this case they are also getting fibre optic cables used by other Critical Infrastructure. Hello??

dungfungus 1:47 pm 25 Mar 15

watto23 said :

dungfungus said :

Southmouth said :

Given that transgrid is set to be sold to the Chinese government, we’ll need all the local generation we can get.

Well, don’t worry about Transgrid because 50% of Actew’s grid has already been sold to China.
This was done very quietly a couple of years ago.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/spiaas-407m-writedown-signals-caution-ahead-of-deals/story-fn91v9q3-1226726486895

Whats the solution? Federal government policy is to provide bonuses for selling off infrastructure. You can’t have a free market and then get upset the chinese are buying into the free market. In fact if we let the chinese build more infrastructure here, we’d have a NBN and probably a east coast fast train for half the cost it would take us to build.

I agree.
The Chinese benefit from not having to deal with the vagaries of democracy and too many levels of government. It sort of like social credit where everyone has to pull their own weight.
Labor and its trade union mates must be terrified of this prospect.

watto23 10:23 am 25 Mar 15

dungfungus said :

Southmouth said :

Given that transgrid is set to be sold to the Chinese government, we’ll need all the local generation we can get.

Well, don’t worry about Transgrid because 50% of Actew’s grid has already been sold to China.
This was done very quietly a couple of years ago.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/spiaas-407m-writedown-signals-caution-ahead-of-deals/story-fn91v9q3-1226726486895

Whats the solution? Federal government policy is to provide bonuses for selling off infrastructure. You can’t have a free market and then get upset the chinese are buying into the free market. In fact if we let the chinese build more infrastructure here, we’d have a NBN and probably a east coast fast train for half the cost it would take us to build.

dungfungus 9:43 am 25 Mar 15

Southmouth said :

Given that transgrid is set to be sold to the Chinese government, we’ll need all the local generation we can get.

Well, don’t worry about Transgrid because 50% of Actew’s grid has already been sold to China.
This was done very quietly a couple of years ago.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/spiaas-407m-writedown-signals-caution-ahead-of-deals/story-fn91v9q3-1226726486895

Southmouth 9:13 am 25 Mar 15

Given that transgrid is set to be sold to the Chinese government, we’ll need all the local generation we can get.

chewy14 8:09 am 25 Mar 15

Stop, in the name of NIMBY Power!!

Xtra 11:08 pm 24 Mar 15

I’m wondering how the other unsuccessful auction participants feel, presumably the location of the site was one of the factors that got Elementus chosen in the first place. How does this change fit within the parameters of the auction assessment process?

How does this work out financially for the government given that, I assume, it has paid the previous land owner for the Tuggeranong blocks?

Acton 8:31 pm 24 Mar 15

This could be a new appproach – listening to the people.
If the ACT Government can move the Elementus solar farm from Uriarra village after opposition by residents, then it should also heed the 4,000+ petition regarding housing at the Yarralumla brickworks. Disregarding the concerns of thousands of residents will be poorly received by the electorate.

rubaiyat 5:04 pm 24 Mar 15

Hardly necessary. Solar farms need virtually no maintenance therefore next to no employees on site. The odd ute would provide adequate access.

One thing I find odd is the siting of the solar farms. In the eastern lee of the hills, with no use of the north facing slopes or any attempt at changing their angle to the sun to optimise coverage.

Also they do not need to be close to Canberra at all, or near anyone wanting a pseudo rural lifestyle i.e. obesely fat and mediocre MacMansions set on remote oversize blocks that should have remained agriculture. Guess that is so they can demand a freeway be built to their door. The door to the only house and people in the whole wide world that count.

The fact that they are whinging so mercilessly about the solar farms suggests they are not there for local employment.

dungfungus 2:40 pm 24 Mar 15

Can we hope the light rail will follow?

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