• The state of Victoria has approved three projects with a cumulative capacity of 175 MW to come up in Shepparton, Goulburn Valley
  • 45 MW Tatura East Solar Farm is being developed by CleanGen, 30 MW Tallygaroopna by X-Elio and 100 MW Lemnos by Neoen
  • Local farmers in Shepparton are not all in favour of the projects coming up on irrigation land, but the government sees these projects creating over 600 jobs and generate enough clean power to suffice power requirements of over 80,000 homes

The State Government of Victoria has cleared the way for three solar power projects with 175 MW cumulative capacity in Shepparton, Goulburn Valley. Permits were approved for 45 MW Tatura East, 30 MW Tallygaroopna and 100 MW Lemnos solar farms. RenewEconomy reports the projects are being developed by CleanGen, X-Elio and Neoen, respectively.

State’s Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne said, “These permits were approved after a thorough review by independent experts and consultation with the community. We’ve done the work to address local concerns and made sure all potential impacts on irrigation farmland and the district more broadly were considered in the decision.”

However, according to local media, public support for the projects isn’t that forthcoming. ABC News says farmers are opposed to the three ‘controversial’ solar farms being built on ‘former irrigation properties that have previously used hundreds of thousands of dollars in government grants to upgrade irrigation equipment, now likely to never be used again’.

To accommodate these projects, the state administration was supposed to wait for the new guidelines for large scale solar that are yet to be incorporated into the planning scheme, but finally went by the old guidelines.

Nonetheless, the government is patting itself for the work done as it expects the farms to create over 600 jobs and generate enough clean power with more than 650,000 solar panels to suffice power requirements of 80,000 homes and more.