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.