A $220 million solar farm has been proposed for the Finley area.
Australian solar farm developer ESCO Pacific flagged its intention for the proposal last week, and will hold a community consultation session in Finley tomorrow.
The solar farm is expected to connect directly into the TransGrid 132kV, which is the high voltage transmission network that runs through the area.
This latest proposal will be one of three solar farms being investigated for the region, with another solar company, RES Australia, proposing similar multi-million facilities in the Mayrung and Blighty areas respectively.
Finley’s proposed solar farm, which requires NSW Government approval, has been earmarked for land located about 6km from the Finley township, south of Brookmans Rd and west of Cronulla Rd.
ESCO Pacific head of development Allison Hawke said it was designed to generate up to 170 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy, which is equivalent to powering 80,000 homes.
She said the Finley farm is proposed to consist of about 480,000 solar panels and will cover 300 hectares.
‘‘The ultimate goal is to generate clean electricity to feed back into the grid (TransGrid),’’ Ms Hawke said.
‘‘The farm will employ five full time local workers for operations, and more than 100 people for the construction stages.’’
Berrigan Shire Council Mayor Matt Hannan said the proposal looks ‘‘quite positive’’, but said he was keen to learn more before commenting further on the proposal.
Cr Hannan said he would attend tomorrow’s information session, to be held at the Finley RS Club from 6pm to 7pm.
Ms Hawke said community consultation was a vital part of the development process.
‘‘This solar farm may exist in the area for up to forty years,’’ Ms Hawke said.
‘‘It’s important we understand who our neighbours are, what their interests are, as well as their point of view.
‘‘The meeting is also an opportunity for us to answer any questions the community may have, as well as making sure they are aware of the proposal and what it involves.
‘‘We’re hoping to have approval for construction at the end of this year, and then it will be another six to twelve months finding investors and contractors.’’
Consultation also continues on the proposed Mayrung and Blighty farms.
The first project, called ‘Currawarra’, is located 25km north east of Deniliquin and is planned to generate up to 175 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy.
The second — ‘Tarleigh Park’ — is 23km south of Deniliquin and is designed to generate up to 90MW. If approved, the company hopes to begin construction sometime in 2018.
Interest in attending the Finley solar farm consultation forum should be registered with Ms Hawke on 0431381875, or go www.finleysolarfarm.com.au.