A Solar Farm bigger than a town! Residents in concern over the project in Camperdown
Residents in Camperdown district in South-West Victoria are concerned about the scale of solar farm proposed to be built on the farmland near the town. Camperdown, a small town with a population of around 3,300 people, covers about four square kilometres. The planned Bookar Solar Farm, to be located 10 km north-west of the town, would occupy about six square kilometres.
The Bookaar Solar Farm would feature 700,000 panels, each measuring about two metres by one metre and standing four metres high. It would be capable of generating roughly 200 megawatts of electricity, or enough to supply clean energy to power the equivalent of 80,000 average Victorian homes each year, according to Infinergy Pacific's planning application.
The developer's website states the solar farm would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 400,000 tonnes and save about 700,000 mega litres of water compared to a coal-fired power station. The plans for the project have been put out for public comment by Corangamite Shire Council, with councillors expected to consider their next step regarding the proposal at their September meeting.
The planning permit application seeks to address many of the groups claims, saying that noise and glint would be minimal, drainage would not be impacted, and visual amenity would be somewhat mitigated by a vegetation screen. Bookar Solar Farm project manager Richard Seymour said proponents of the project were working with the CFA to write up to a fire plan.
Mr Seymour confirmed the site was previously earmarked for a wind farm, but when the proponents dropped out, "Infinergy Pacific assessed the feasibility of site and concluded that a solar farm would be the most appropriate form of development". He said that the property had characteristics that make it a good place for a solar farm- such as flat topography, nearby transmission lines, good sunlight, and no significant environmental constraints.