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.