TBB has facilitated the development approvals for three major solar farm developments in Collie, Northam and Gingin.
Northam PV Solar Array
TBB facilitated development approval for a 10 megawatt (10MW) photovoltaic solar array, located north-east of the Northam townsite.
The solar array was proposed on low-quality agricultural land, leased from the farm landowner.
The development application was for construction of four solar arrays comprising of approximately 36,000 panels, mounted to the ground with a horizonal axis tracking the sun throughout the day. Installation included a substation, transformer, inverter and control system, and a site office. It was connected to the South Western Interconnected System via a 22kV feeder line located north of the development application site.
TBB undertook a site visit with the landowner in early 2017, and prepared a visual assessment as part of preparation of the Development Application.
The Development Application was comprehensive and was considered acceptable by the Shire of Northam and the JDAP. It was considered to comply with the strategic and statutory planning framework, with suitable conditions imposed that allowed for the effective implementation of the proposal.
Development Approval was granted on 15 June 2017 by the Mid-West/Wheatbelt JDAP. The construction phase occurred during 2018, with commencement of generation in 2018. The solar farm received approval to operate in early 2019.
The solar farm aims to deliver enough energy to power approximately 4,000 households (24,000 MWh) every year, and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17,000 tonnes per year – the equivalent of taking 3,500 cars off the road (Northam Solar 2017).
Collie PV Solar Farm
TBB facilitated development approval for a 20 megawatt (20MW) photovoltaic solar farm, located north-west of the Collie townsite.
The solar farm was proposed on cleared land in close proximity to the Western Power Collie sub-station. The development application was for construction of 69,000 photovoltaic modules and five inverters, with connecting infrastructure to the 22kW feeder line. The panels were fixed-tilt ensuring the solar farm was more compact and utilised less land area, compared to a single-axis tracking system.
The proposal had regard to and retained small pockets of native vegetation on the eastern and southern edges of the site.
TBB worked with the client and the environmental consultant to prepare the Development Application, accompanied with site inspection photos, Environmental Site Assessment Report.
The Development Application was comprehensive and was considered acceptable by the Shire of Collie and the JDAP. It was considered to comply with the strategic and statutory planning framework, with suitable conditions imposed that allowed for the effective implementation of the proposal.
Development Approval was granted on 24 April 2018 by the Southern JDAP.
Barragoon Road PV Solar Farm
TBB facilitated development approval for a 9.9 megawatt (9.9MW) photovoltaic solar farm, located adjacent to the south-western corner of the Woodridge Rural Living Estate. The solar farm was designed to consist of three stages to export electricity to the South West Interconnected System.
The proposal was for a three-stage PV solar farm with approximately 36,000 panels mounted to the ground with a horizonal single-axis tracking system that orients the panels towards the sun throughout the day.
The proposal included security fencings and vegetation screening, and had regard to a future entry road alignment to the planned Moore River South development that is located west of the facility on the coast.
TBB assisted in the statutory planning, early communications and engagement with the relevant agencies and local government, as well as preparing the development application package that was submitted.
In November 2017, TBB presented the proposal to the Shire prior to lodging the development approval. In January 2018, TBB and the Client attended a site visit with the Shire’s Councillors and Executive Management.
The development application was assessed, advertised and determined by the Mid-West/Wheatbelt JDAP within 90 days.
Development Approval was granted on 23 October 2018 by the Mid-West/Wheatbelt JDAP. The project has an active approval which would expire in 2024. The project is being considered with interest by solar developers.