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Royalla industrial solar marching on

johnboy 2 July 2013 45

Simon Corbell has announced his approval for a 20MW solar farm on the Monaro Highway:

“I have used my powers under Sections 158, 159 and 160 of the Planning and Development Act 2007 to approve this proposal because it responds to a major policy issue and will deliver a substantial public benefit,” Mr Corbell said.

“The project will be the largest solar farm to be developed in Australia to date.

“The solar farm proposal will contribute to a reduction of around 560,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over 20 years, generating the equivalent amount of energy to power 4,400 Canberra homes.

“The Royalla solar farm will directly contribute to meeting the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets set by the ACT Government under the Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act 2010, and is consistent with the comprehensive climate change strategy we released last year, AP2.”

The AP2 Strategy calls for the Government to further develop large-scale renewable energy generation to achieve a target of 90% of the Territory’s electricity consumption to be sourced from renewable energy by 2020.

“While I am approving the development application, a number of conditions have arisen from the notification and consultation process which must be addressed before the construction can begin,” Mr Corbell said.

“These conditions include a requirement for the proposal to meet all environmental approvals, including implementation of an environmental management agreement, waterway works licence, contamination assessment, environment protection agreement, land management agreement and pollution control plans.

“I have also closely considered the concerns of adjacent neighbours in the Royalla rural residential area. An independent visual impact assessment has been conducted which confirms the visual impact of the proposal will be negligible for most houses in the Royalla area.


UPDATE: It appears not everyone is thrilled.

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45 Responses to Royalla industrial solar marching on
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beardedclam 4:33 pm 08 Jul 13

IrishPete said :

beardedclam said :

Where on your crown lease or deed does it say that the view is included? I would be interested to know.

Royalla is in NSW, so not lease, but freehold. Perhaps that’s what you mean by mentioning deeds.

NSW planning laws require neighbours to be notified and give them the right to make submissions about any development.

If you want to know about views, read up on any of the objections to wind farms (because the health effects are non-existent, only the views, or “amenity” are relevant).

IP

As this solar farm is in the ACT, should we focus on the ACT legislation, or are the affected homes on the NSW side of the border? I am not sure what legislation comes into play, and I am also not a lawyer, so any serious answers would be appreciated.

In the ACT too, neighbours get to comment on any development that is proposed if it does not meet the relevant rule in the applicable development code. (which don’t count for much if a development was called-in, personally I am against the call-in powers for that reason). What does this tell us about ownership of the view, though? I could read the objections about the wind farm, but they are objections penned by disgruntled members of the community, presumably with an already negative feeling toward the topic.

What does the legislation say in the ACT? It is not written anywhere that crown lessee’s own the view from their parcel of land. I will happily stand corrected if anyone can prove otherwise.

IrishPete 3:38 pm 08 Jul 13

beardedclam said :

Where on your crown lease or deed does it say that the view is included? I would be interested to know.

Royalla is in NSW, so not lease, but freehold. Perhaps that’s what you mean by mentioning deeds.

NSW planning laws require neighbours to be notified and give them the right to make submissions about any development.

If you want to know about views, read up on any of the objections to wind farms (because the health effects are non-existent, only the views, or “amenity” are relevant).

IP

beardedclam 3:05 pm 08 Jul 13

Where on your crown lease or deed does it say that the view is included? I would be interested to know.

IrishPete 2:44 pm 08 Jul 13

Terra said :

You pack of bloody wingers.
Come and put it next to my place. Please!

So, Royalla residents, and everyone else for that matter, if you built your houses with solar on the roofs, turbines in your yard, or any other of the options, if you took responsibility for your own energy, then all this would hardly be necessary.

But how may of you, when building your shiny new house and faced with the choice of $5k for the poolroom, double garage, or second car for the kids, or $5k for solar panels, chose against the latter.

Get real. Shut up and be glad you get the chance to say anything at all.

Bloody Canberra Nimby’s make me sick.

Royalla is not in Canberra. Even if they had put solar panels on their roofs, they would be in the NSW Feed In Tariff (which closed over a year ago) and not the ACT’s. It also would have had no impact on the ACT Government’s decision to put a solar power station across the road from them.

Anyway, take a drive out there and see how many do have solar panels and solar hot water.

IP

Postalgeek 2:25 pm 08 Jul 13

A poll needs to be done to find the postcode with the most NIMBY haters so we know where to stick all the controversial developments.

Terra 1:17 pm 08 Jul 13

You pack of bloody wingers.
Come and put it next to my place. Please!

So, Royalla residents, and everyone else for that matter, if you built your houses with solar on the roofs, turbines in your yard, or any other of the options, if you took responsibility for your own energy, then all this would hardly be necessary.

But how may of you, when building your shiny new house and faced with the choice of $5k for the poolroom, double garage, or second car for the kids, or $5k for solar panels, chose against the latter.

Get real. Shut up and be glad you get the chance to say anything at all.

Bloody Canberra Nimby’s make me sick.

howeph 12:58 pm 08 Jul 13

dungfungus said :

howeph said :

Dungfungus, show us the modelling that shows that it is infeasible to go 100% renewables, so that we can have a debate based upon science and evidence, or stop spreading miss information. My children’s future is at stake.

I don’t believe in “modelling” as it can be skewed to achieve any outcome one wants.

Are you accusing the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) of bias? What possible motive could they have to make the report overly favourable towards renewables? If it turns out that the report is wrong, that 100% renewables is infeasible, it will be AEMO who has to deal with the consequences.

Or do you just not like “modelling” at all?

Modelling is widely used and accepted as one of the best technique for predicting future outcomes, especially in the engineering disciplines – which re-engineering the power network to renewables is.

If not modelling, what would you propose that we use to base decisions that effect the future on? Dungfungus’ gut instinct?

dungfungus said :

I am also aware that some coal fired power stations in the UK are being converted to burning wood chips which are sourced from Europe. The electricity then generated is classed as renewable. This seems to be a good compromise because the “grunt” ability of a thermal power staion is preserved.
I won’t talk about the folly of the enormous carbon footprint there is in getting the woodchips from source to use though.

Yes, part of the solutions modelled in AEMO’s report include biomass (wood) and biogas to meet the reliability requirements.

Full draft report available at: http://www.climatechange.gov.au/sites/climatechange/files/files/reducing-carbon/aemo/renewables-study-report-draft-20130424.pdf

dungfungus 10:51 am 08 Jul 13

howeph said :

dungfungus said :

johnboy said :

Also a lot of hydro in Australia uses water pumped back uphill using brown coal fired electricity.

Wind turbines also draw coal generated power from the grid to keep the electronics functioning when the wind isn’t blowing.
At the end of the day, we will still be reliant on coal fired power stations it seems.

Johnboy – it’s more complex that that.

The reason why coal is used to pump water back up hill is not for the benefit of hydro, but to deal with an inefficiency inherent in coal powered power stations.

Coal power stations only like to deliver power at a certain constant rate (i.e. they are either on or off). It is expensive, wasteful and time consuming stop and start coal powered generation units. Meanwhile demand for the electricity they produce is variable throughout the day. When demand is low the coal powered power stations are producing excess energy. Rather than letting that energy go to waste it is used to pump the water back up hill so that it can be converted back to electricity again the next day when demand peaks.

So under the above, current conditions, hydro is not 100% renewable, but it does make coal a lot more efficient and so it is a great benefit.

In the future, as wind and solar renewables replace coal power, a different circumstance will exist. Demand for electricity will continue to be variable, but so will supply (e.g. on a day like today, with high winds right across south east Australia, the wind turbines will be producing massive amounts of excess energy). This excess supply will again be used to pump water up hill so that it can be used to deliver energy later when the wind isn’t blowing and or the sun isn’t shinning.

Then hydro will be 100% renewable.

Dungfungus – no you are wrong, we don’t *need* to be reliant on coal.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), and other studies, have shown that it is feasible to go 100% renewable whilst meeting the current National Energy Market reliability requirement of 99.998% http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/4/29/renewable-energy/100-renewables-feasible-aemo

Dungfungus, show us the modelling that shows that it is infeasible to go 100% renewables, so that we can have a debate based upon science and evidence, or stop spreading miss information. My children’s future is at stake.

I don’t believe in “modelling” as it can be skewed to achieve any outcome one wants.
I am also aware that some coal fired power stations in the UK are being converted to burning wood chips which are sourced from Europe. The electricity then generated is classed as renewable. This seems to be a good compromise because the “grunt” ability of a thermal power staion is preserved.
I won’t talk about the folly of the enormous carbon footprint there is in getting the woodchips from source to use though.

IrishPete 10:22 am 08 Jul 13

People who prefer looking at cityscape aren’t really very likely to want to move to a rural residential block.

“the visual impact is some way off in the distance” – the distance is variable, and in some cases not very far at all. We’re not just talking about Royalla Estate, but the whole “suburb”.

“I can tell you that I know a number of people in the Estate that have complained about the design of neighbour’s houses” – Must have been before my time. But I can well imagine. But a house near you can affect you quite a bit, and the nearer the worse – I know someone in Canberra whose neighbours built a two-storey house in a largely one-storey suburb, such that they could see into her backyard. She was too nice to object, but when they turned into difficult neighbours later, she regretted having been so tolerant. As someone now involved in planning law, this stuff is close to my heart.

“I really don’t see how it is different to a neighbour building a house within someone else’s view – it’s the same principle, isn’t it?” Of course it’s the same principle, though when you bought your land/house you would have a reasonable expectation that other houses may be built within sight, not a many-hectare solar farm and associated infrastructure (plus the disruption from the building works). There’ll be a lot of concrete coming in.

IP

vet111 12:57 pm 05 Jul 13

Ugh – apologies for the italics.

vet111 12:57 pm 05 Jul 13

IrishPete said :

vet111 said :

If you want to quantify the value of rural views, ask a real estate agent. It’s not hard. Value with view of hills. Value with view of solar panels. Subtract one from the other.

It is a little bit different to someone building a house on a house block.

Views do affect how you use your land, if you have a deck, verandah, or windows.

The parcels of land at Royalla are not tiny, Some of the objectors own hundreds of acres. Royalla estate blocks are generally smaller. Burra is a different suburb and scenario entirely. I’ve yet to hear of someone from either suburb objecting to a house being built next door. They do object sometimes to large infrastructure projects like this one, or ACTEW’s Murrumbidgee to Googong connection, which is their right.

You will note that my comments were not on the merits of solar power (though I touched on the commercial viability of this site). Ultimately, as I said above, it is the process that was screwed up. A screwed up process has a far greater chance of resulting in a screwed up outcome.

IP

I think you’ve missed my point. Some people prefer looking at a cityscape, some people prefer looking at mountains, some people prefer looking at rivers, etc. A real estate agent may be able to predict that some people would prefer a certain view, but they cannot predict (especially with something like this, where the proposed panels will be located some way off in the distance) how this will affect sale values.

I really don’t see how it is different to a neighbour building a house within someone else’s view – it’s the same principle, isn’t it?

And I dispute your point about views affecting how you use your land – it doesn’t actually have any physical affect on what you do, just what you’re looking at. In this case, as reiterated time and again, the visual impact is some way off in the distance so would have a negligible effect on the quality of your view if you preferred an uninterrupted landscape.

The majority of parcels in Royalla are tiny – blocks of 10 to 40 acres do not, and should not, give you any right to have a say over the view as far as the eye can see in any direction. Control the view on your own block, for sure. And while I place little value on anecdotal feedback, and for all intents and purposes my previous post was a hypothetical highlighting similarities, I can tell you that I know a number of people in the Estate that have complained about the design of neighbour’s houses.

The ACTEW project is different, because it may (without taking any sides) have an actual physical effect on property and surrounds. It’s not about a view.

If you can point out in any way how this development will have a physical impact on landholders, I would love to hear it.

I do agree with criticisms about the process, but I also have a bit of sympathy for ACTGOV given the Ridge debacle….

howeph 11:40 am 05 Jul 13

dungfungus said :

johnboy said :

Also a lot of hydro in Australia uses water pumped back uphill using brown coal fired electricity.

Wind turbines also draw coal generated power from the grid to keep the electronics functioning when the wind isn’t blowing.
At the end of the day, we will still be reliant on coal fired power stations it seems.

Johnboy – it’s more complex that that.

The reason why coal is used to pump water back up hill is not for the benefit of hydro, but to deal with an inefficiency inherent in coal powered power stations.

Coal power stations only like to deliver power at a certain constant rate (i.e. they are either on or off). It is expensive, wasteful and time consuming stop and start coal powered generation units. Meanwhile demand for the electricity they produce is variable throughout the day. When demand is low the coal powered power stations are producing excess energy. Rather than letting that energy go to waste it is used to pump the water back up hill so that it can be converted back to electricity again the next day when demand peaks.

So under the above, current conditions, hydro is not 100% renewable, but it does make coal a lot more efficient and so it is a great benefit.

In the future, as wind and solar renewables replace coal power, a different circumstance will exist. Demand for electricity will continue to be variable, but so will supply (e.g. on a day like today, with high winds right across south east Australia, the wind turbines will be producing massive amounts of excess energy). This excess supply will again be used to pump water up hill so that it can be used to deliver energy later when the wind isn’t blowing and or the sun isn’t shinning.

Then hydro will be 100% renewable.

Dungfungus – no you are wrong, we don’t *need* to be reliant on coal.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), and other studies, have shown that it is feasible to go 100% renewable whilst meeting the current National Energy Market reliability requirement of 99.998% http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/4/29/renewable-energy/100-renewables-feasible-aemo

Dungfungus, show us the modelling that shows that it is infeasible to go 100% renewables, so that we can have a debate based upon science and evidence, or stop spreading miss information. My children’s future is at stake.

IrishPete 11:38 am 05 Jul 13

johnboy said :

Also a lot of hydro in Australia uses water pumped back uphill using brown coal fired electricity.

I think this is spare power, at night, which would otherwise be wasted.

IP

IrishPete 11:37 am 05 Jul 13

vet111 said :

You can’t quantify the financial benefits of rural views, ergo you cannot compensate for it. Views do not affect how you use your land. If you want to preserve views, you need to own it – you can’t expect others to refrain from doing something you might not like.

Let’s look at it another way. Look at the number of posts about the various modern ‘designer’ monstrosities going up in the established suburbs. In the case of one of these properties being constructed within the appropriate guidelines (i.e. completely legally) can you quantify the financial losses suffered by potential sellers due to changed streetscape? No, you can’t – streetscapes and landscapes alike are subjective, and whether people like or dislike them (and, as it follows, may be prepared to spend more to access them) varies from person to person. This is no different.

Nothing pisses me off more than people who purchase tiny parcels of land in an estate like Royalla or Burra, and then bitch when the neighbour starts building a house which they don’t like. FFS people, we live in a community. Respect the choices of others if you want people to respect yours.

If you want to quantify the value of rural views, ask a real estate agent. It’s not hard. Value with view of hills. Value with view of solar panels. Subtract one from the other.

It is a little bit different to someone building a house on a house block.

Views do affect how you use your land, if you have a deck, verandah, or windows.

The parcels of land at Royalla are not tiny, Some of the objectors own hundreds of acres. Royalla estate blocks are generally smaller. Burra is a different suburb and scenario entirely. I’ve yet to hear of someone from either suburb objecting to a house being built next door. They do object sometimes to large infrastructure projects like this one, or ACTEW’s Murrumbidgee to Googong connection, which is their right.

You will note that my comments were not on the merits of solar power (though I touched on the commercial viability of this site). Ultimately, as I said above, it is the process that was screwed up. A screwed up process has a far greater chance of resulting in a screwed up outcome.

IP

Deref 11:28 am 05 Jul 13

PantsMan said :

What happened to the polluter pays principle?

It got overridden by the principle of privatising the profits and socialising the losses.

PantsMan 10:33 am 05 Jul 13

What happened to the polluter pays principle?

The hypocrisy is just astounding!

vet111 10:28 am 05 Jul 13

IrishPete said :

Unlike others posting here, I have met some of the objectors. Yes it is a form of NIMBYism. But when there are measurable effects on your property value through loss of rural views, it’s a bit more real. Commercial projects that can’t afford to compensate neighbours for financial loses perhaps aren’t actually commercially viable.

The problem with this project is it was developed in secret. Consequently the residents were never consulted. Not ever, until the DA which we all knew Corbell would “call in”.

The project was announced in the media, the neighbours weren’t even directly told about.

In making the announcement Corbell the Environment Minister lied. That lie is stated in the objectors’ material shown by JohnBoy.

ACTEWAGL thinks there is a better site just down the road (which I am told has very few neighbours). They are so certain that they plan to proceed with it anyway, even without the incentives that FRV are getting.

Corbell the Planning Minister has conveniently approved Corbell the Environment Minister’s project, which avoids any embarrassment emerging during the normal DA process from the latter’s lie and obfuscation.

Are the two Corbell’s related? Do they know what a conflict of interest is?

IP

You can’t quantify the financial benefits of rural views, ergo you cannot compensate for it. Views do not affect how you use your land. If you want to preserve views, you need to own it – you can’t expect others to refrain from doing something you might not like.

Let’s look at it another way. Look at the number of posts about the various modern ‘designer’ monstrosities going up in the established suburbs. In the case of one of these properties being constructed within the appropriate guidelines (i.e. completely legally) can you quantify the financial losses suffered by potential sellers due to changed streetscape? No, you can’t – streetscapes and landscapes alike are subjective, and whether people like or dislike them (and, as it follows, may be prepared to spend more to access them) varies from person to person. This is no different.

Nothing pisses me off more than people who purchase tiny parcels of land in an estate like Royalla or Burra, and then bitch when the neighbour starts building a house which they don’t like. FFS people, we live in a community. Respect the choices of others if you want people to respect yours.

dungfungus 10:13 am 05 Jul 13

davo101 said :

dungfungus said :

Isn’t hydropower a renewable?

Well…yes and no, depends entirely on your definition of “renewable energy”. If the 90% target is based on energy obtained from accredited power stations then almost all of the hydro in Australia is too old to qualify.

Thanks for that – I wasn’t sure about it.
I guess the hydro powered generator that ACTEW put in at the end of the Angle Crossing/Burra Creek pipeline would be “accredited” even though it probably doesn’t offset the power used to pump the water out of the Murrumbidgee into the pipeline.

dungfungus 10:08 am 05 Jul 13

johnboy said :

Also a lot of hydro in Australia uses water pumped back uphill using brown coal fired electricity.

Wind turbines also draw coal generated power from the grid to keep the electronics functioning when the wind isn’t blowing.
At the end of the day, we will still be reliant on coal fired power stations it seems.

davo101 9:44 am 05 Jul 13

dungfungus said :

Isn’t hydropower a renewable?

Well…yes and no, depends entirely on your definition of “renewable energy”. If the 90% target is based on energy obtained from accredited power stations then almost all of the hydro in Australia is too old to qualify.

    johnboy 9:53 am 05 Jul 13

    Also a lot of hydro in Australia uses water pumped back uphill using brown coal fired electricity.

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