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Following significant community consultation, Lightsource BP’s Melbourne office submitted a proposal for a solar farm at 3405 Katamatite-Nathalia Road, Naring.

It’s important to us that all our solar projects are designed in concert with the local community and statutory bodies, so we, alongside our planning partner Urbis, held a community information session. We received a lot of positive feedback from the local community, who are generally supportive of our proposal due to the generation of renewable energy, its minimal environmental and visual impact, and alternative benefits brought by the proposal. We’re also exploring other ways the land can be used alongside the solar farm, including grazing and beekeeping.

Following the community consultation, we adapted our application to take into account concerns raised by attendees. These amendments included…

  • Reducing the level of fencing and the density and height of the landscaping at the intersection of Katamatite-Nathalia Road and Kokoda Road to increase the sightlines and improve traffic safety at this junction.
  • Reducing the northern boundary of the site to ensure there is a significant buffer from Broken Creek to address flooding concerns, and to protect cultural heritage
  • Investigated several mitigation measures to address any impact of potential flooding, including the raising of buildings and invertors on piers, and undertaking hydraulic modelling – these measures were not deemed necessary.
  • Ensuring that land and access tracks will not be elevated more than 100mm above the natural surface.
  • Taking advice from ecologists and looking into implementing fencings of a mesh/wire composite used by wildlife sanctuary’s around Australia, to ensure the site is protected from pest species whilst protecting resident wildlife.
  • Seeking the removal of two scattered native trees from the paddock, which would be managed through an offset as well as ongoing management of the native trees and vegetation on the northern area of the site.
  • Developing an Environmental Management Plan for construction and ongoing management of the land including the control of weeds, vegetation and invasive fauna on the site.
  • Developing a Hazard Management Plan with the CFA as first responders to the site in the case of a bushfire.
  • Incorporating bushfire management into the ongoing management of the land through grass and weed control and the use of low flammable species for landscaping.

We’re dedicated to creating energy options for Australian communities, and we’re very proud of the results our process has delivered across the globe. We look forward to the construction and completion of successful, community-supported Lightsource BP solar projects in Numurkah and beyond.