A $130 million solar farm capable of generating 140 megawatts of electricity has been proposed for farmland north of Mulwala.
Melbourne-based company ESCO Pacific has presented Federation Council with a scoping report for the solar farm which, if approved, will be built on land between Savernake and Tocumwal roads and less than two kilometres from town.
A smaller scale 20 megawatt solar farm proposal at North Wangaratta was approved late last week, but objectors haven’t ruled out a challenge in the Supreme Court.
The Mulwala project, which would include the creation of 400,000 solar panels, is considered to be a state significant development and the NSW Planning Department would determine the development application.
ESCO Pacific has approached council to gain support before pressing ahead with lodging a development application.
The company also wants to understand whether there could be any obstacles for the project in relation to strategic land use plans with Mulwala one of the council’s fastest growing areas.
The council will be asked to provide initial comment on the proposal at its final meeting of the year on Tuesday.
ESCO Pacific is awaiting approval on a 170 megwatt solar farm at nearby Finley.
The Mulwala venture is predicted to create up to 130 construction jobs in a nine-month building phase.
“The Mulwala solar farm would contribute to Australia’s greenhouse gas commitments by reducing emissions associated with energy use,” the scoping report states.
“The solar farm would also be part of the transition away from fossil fuel reliance to cleaner electricity generation, and the transition to increased energy security through a more diverse energy mix.
“The proposed location for the Mulwala solar farm emerged as a highly prospective site for the development of a solar project and a decision was made to initiate pre-development investigations and activities.
“The proposed development of the Mulwala solar farm may result in a number of potential environmental and social impacts, both positive and negative.
“The nature and extent of these potential impacts will need to be assessed during the environmental impact statement process.”
There are four homes and a housing estate located within one kilometre of the proposed site.
Federation councillors justified its back-flip on the Howlong compost plant due to the proximity of the venture to the town.