The one-time ‘solar city’ region may yet have plans for a second large-scale solar farm on the horizon.
Greater Shepparton City Council has received a planning permit application for a possible solar farm at a site on Ferguson Rd, Tatura.
The council’s sustainable development director Johann Rajaratnam confirmed the council had received the application for a facility with 45MW capacity and said it was now being considered.
‘‘I dare say we’ll advertise it, but we’re still considering it,’’ Mr Rajaratnam said.
‘‘It has trackers and modules like any other solar farm operation. I think council’s keen on pursuing (such projects).’’
Mr Rajaratnam said the council was pushing to ‘‘revive’’ Greater Shepparton’s tag as the solar city, which it had lost somewhat in recent decades.
‘‘So where there are proposals with solar power generation, we’ll try to look at it where possible,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s recognition of where our (power) generation’s going to move to.
‘‘We’re trying to be on the leading edge of it, as opposed to followers.’’
Tatura-based former Greater Shepparton City councillor Kevin Ryan said a potential solar farm was a win for the town.
‘‘Tatura is short of power and electricity with the amount that gets used by large industries there,’’ he said.
‘‘We saw this as a great bonus.’’
He said there were very few landowners that bordered with the land proposed for the solar farm.
‘‘It’s not going to do any harm to them anyway,’’ he said.
The council last month was optimistic about the sod being turned this year on a separate large-scale solar facility project to be built south of Mooroopna.
The council plans to soon go to tender for parties wishing to develop the site and is in the closing stages of an expression of interest process for developing a facility capable of producing a minimum of 10MW.
—Tara Whitsed and Thomas Moir