View more articles from Kirsten Lawson With the country’s biggest solar farm in Canberra’s south about to go live, Environment Minister Simon Corbell has defended the controversial Uriarra solar farm in the face of bushfire concerns and overwhelming opposition from local residents.
Mr Corbell said the 20MW array off the Monaro Highway at Royalla, which will go live in a couple of weeks, was twice the size of any other solar farm in the country and the largest feeding into the national grid. Its nearest rival was a 10MW solar farm in Western Australia.
He said the Uriarra solar project, now in planning, would also be 10MW and its significance on the national scale should not be underestimated. He rejected residents’ characterisation of the 27-hectare solar array at Uriarra as an industrial site.
“These are PV panels sitting in a field,” he told the ACT Assembly. “They don’t create noise, they don’t create emissions, they don’t create all of those things that are associated with an industrial plant. But, of course, the opponents … want to characterise it as that because in doing so … they hope to attach the emotional language that comes with industrial, manufacturing or mining or other resource-intense facility.”
The solar farm was low impact, environmentally beneficial and simply harnessed the power of sunlight, Mr Corbell said………
The Liberals’ Andrew Wall said the project had a litany of flaws, including the damage it would do to property values in Uriarra and the bushfire risk. Residents were not opposed to solar power but to the site, he said.
But Mr Corbell rejected concerns about the power line, saying the village was already powered by an overhead electricity line through the same corridor as the planned solar-farm line.
The ActewAGL line is 11V, but Mr Corbell said it was “not a big difference when it comes to starting a fire”. “One spark will start a fire, it doesn’t matter about the power of the line,” he said.
Farmers wanted solar and wind farms because it helped them diversify and access a reliable income stream, he said.
The importance of the project should not be underestimated at a time when the federal government was sending a message to companies and countries around the world that Australia was not interested in renewable energy.
When Royalla begins operating in September, ActewAGL will pay it $186 for each megawatt hour fed into the grid. The company is expected to generate about 37,000 megawatt hours a year, and the maximum it will be paid for is 42,293 megawatt hours. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/national-significance-of-uriarra-solar-should-not-be-underestimated-says-act-environment-minister-simon-corbell-20140814-103www.html#ixzz3AcIlV6Od
Government swamped by 120 objections to the Uriarra solar farm Canberra Times, August 12, 2014 Kirsten Lawson Chief Assembly reporter for The Canberra Times. The government has been swamped by objections to the Uriarra solar farm, including from federal Labor MP Gai Brodtmann, who said it would damage the character and appeal of the village, block views, affect the rural feel and probably depress house prices.
Ms Brodtmann’s intervention will put pressure on the government, as will the weight of opposition from residents of Uriarra Village across the road from the planned solar farm. More than 80 are among about 122 people to submit submissions.
Just six submissions are in favour, and only one of them if from a resident. John White wrote briefly in support. “Quite frankly, as the village is advertised as being a sustainable eco village, I do not understand the other resident views for not supporting such a wonderful opportunity the village could have gained by this solar farm.”….. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/government-swamped-by-120-objections-to-the-uriarra-solar-farm-20140811-102rbe.html#ixzz3AEwFXw3x
Farmers, activists warn against reducing renewable energy target on Global Wind Energy Day http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/farmers-activists-warn-against-reducing-renewable-energy-target-on-global-wind-energy-day-20140615-zs8ix.html June 16, 2014 Markus Mannheim Public service editor Over the years, Boorowa grazier Paul Magee watched each of his five children become adults and leave the family farm to find work.
For him and his wife, Lynette, the opportunity to host wind turbines on their 700-hectare property, about 110 kilometres north of Canberra, may have come a little too late.
But the lamb farmer hopes the growing wind-energy industry will help lure young people back to the bush, and says the federal government must maintain its backing for renewable energy. “There is a possibility that one [of my children] could move back here and help to improve the farm and make it more productive – if the renewable energy target is not changed,” Mr Magee told a rally of activists outside Parliament House on Sunday, Global Wind Energy Day.
“There is a further possibility that others … may gain employment in the area. The economic benefits would help stop the drift to larger cities.”
A review of the so-called RET – an aim for 20 per cent of the nation’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020 – is due to be completed shortly, amid fears the Abbott government will reduce the target or scrap it entirely.
Last month, Treasurer Joe Hockey launched an unprompted attack on windfarms near Lake George, just outside the ACT, telling conservative radio commentator Alan Jones he found them “utterly offensive” and “a blight on the landscape”. Climate activists have also noted that the RET review’s leader, former Caltex chairman Dick Warburton, and other panel members have close links to the fossil-fuel industry.
Mr Magee said he could not understand the Treasurer’s view. “It could be argued that the very same four-lane freeway he was travelling on is more offensive and a bigger blight on the landscape, and indeed the urban development that has ruined the north shore of Sydney,” he said, referring to Mr Hockey’s electorate.
Small groups of residents near windfarms occasionally oppose the industry, saying turbines are noisy and reduce rural property prices.
However, NSW government polling in 2010 found almost nine in 10 residents in the region near the ACT border supported windfarms, including 61 per cent of people who lived one to two kilometres away from turbines.
Regardless of what happens to the federal RET scheme, ACT Environment Minister Simon Corbell told the rally that Canberra would maintain the nation’s most ambitious renewable energy policy: 90 per cent of the ACT’s electricity would be sourced from renewable energy by 2020.
He also noted that the Royalla solar farm – the largest in Australia – was just a few months’ away from being commissioned.
“The sad thing about that project is that it’s only 20 megawatts. When you look at renewable energy and solar energy around the world, you see that so many nations are investing in schemes and in projects that are in the hundreds of megawatts.
“In a country like Australia, we should be doing the same.”
Sunday’s rally preceded the 2014 Community Energy Congress, which will be held on Monday and Tuesday at the National Library. About 300 delegates are expected to attend from across Australia and overseas.
MPs unite against ACT’s renewable energy scheme, Braidwood Times, 1 April 14 Liberals and Nationals in NSW have joined forces to send a strong message to the ACT Government over its renewable energy policy: Leave our farms alone!
Windfarms have been controversial in the area surrounding the ACT and an110 tower ‘farm’ is in the wind for the area from Tarago, south across the Kings Highway down to Manar.
Wind energy to power 80,000 Canberra homes Kirsten Lawson Chief Assembly reporter for The Canberra Times, 12 Mar 14, Wind energy is set to power 80,000 Canberra households within six years as the ACT government announces details on Thursday of an auction for huge wind farms in the region.
The government will sign 20-year deals with successful bidders, who will get a guaranteed price for the energy they supply.
The news will energise wind farms at different stages of approval and construction that have been waiting for a guaranteed buyer for the energy. But it is also set to galvanise anger in country areas that will host forests of wind turbines powering the capital…..http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/wind-energy-to-power-80000-canberra-homes-20140311-34kox.html
Clean energy boost stirs stalled wind farms, Canberra Times, March 1, 2014 Kirsten Lawson Chief Assembly reporter . The ACT government’s planned roll-out of large-scale clean energy projects is set to give new life to stalled wind farms near Canberra.
Infigen Energy, the company that runs the Capital 1 wind farm near Bungendore, already has approval for another 41 wind turbines at the site, generating about 100 megawatts of energy. General manager of development David Griffin confirmed his company hoped to take part in an auction expected later this year to win the right to supply the ACT with renewable energy for a guaranteed price over 20 years.
A second big project, near Collector, was approved last year for 55 wind turbines, generating 187 megawatts, and run by Ratch-Australia (80 per cent Thai owned, 20 per cent Transfield). Ratch could not be reached on Friday.
Environment Minister Simon Corbell announced a vast increase in the ACT’s commitment to renewable energy last week, more than doubling the cap on feed-in projects to 550 megawatts, with the bulk of the funded projects in wind farms around Canberra.
Solar would make up most of the rest, but it is undecided whether solar projects outside the ACT will qualify…….http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/clean-energy-boost-stirs-stalled-wind-farms-20140228-33rrx.html
ACT extends renewables FiT to 550MW to drive big solar, wind, Reneweconomy, http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/act-large-scale-fit-solar-wind-26551 By Sophie Vorrath on 27 February 2014
To many it came as a shock when in April 1971 the Northern Territory Supreme Court decided against Aboriginal people and in favour of a mining company to have access to Aboriginal land. Australian common law, the justice concluded, did not recognise Aboriginal land rights (Reconciliation Australia, 2012).
on January 26th, 2012, the Tent Embassy held its 40th anniversary, making it the longest site of political agitation. The Embassy helped in the struggle for land rights and to end racial discrimination, sadly this is still an ongoing struggle (Korffs, J., 2012).
The Rights For Freedom Of Aboriginal Australians History Essay UK Essays.com 3 Jan 14 This essay focuses on the rights for freedom for the Aboriginal Australians who have lived in Australia for at least 40,000 years. The arrival of the Europeans in 1788 resulted in the significant change to traditional Aboriginal customs and way of life. Up until 1901 colonial governments and communities formally and informally discriminated against Aboriginal people (Rights and freedoms, 1945- the present, n.d.).
Mr Poile said there were a lot of people and groups he did not recognise as locals, including anti-wind farm activist Sarah Laurie from the Waubra Foundation, based in South Australia.
Threat of legal action against wind farm hosts, Canberra Times, Hamish Boland-Rudder October 29, 2013 An anti-wind farm resident of Collector says he will sue his neighbours should they become turbine hosts as part of a proposed wind farm in the small community north of Canberra. Continue reading
Sun rises on a communal solar farm City News, Stephen Easton October 9, 2013 AS plans move ahead to build four fields of solar panels in the ACT, one of them Australia’s largest, there’s another with a more egalitarian spirit not far behind.
Launched in May, SolarShare plans to build a solar farm that will operate as a co-operative, rather than a company, so its member-shareholders will contribute to the cost of building its photovoltaic arrays and receive returns from the power they generate for years to come.
“Since then we’ve received about 200 registrations of interest from people who are keen to invest in excess of $670,000 in a community-owned solar farm, so we’ve received a fairly strong indication there that people support this idea, which is really great,” says project leader Lawrence McIntosh.
McIntosh is a renewable energy consultant who plays a central role in The Canberra Clean Energy Connection, a local, non-profit group that supports the ACT Government’s vision of Canberra becoming “the solar capital of Australia”…….http://citynews.com.au/2013/sun-rises-on-a-communal-solar-farm/
Why does the Australian War Memorial ignore the frontier war? Paul Daley theguardian.com, Thursday 12 September 2013The battle between Aboriginal people and settlers is at the heart of nationhood but absent from war dead commemorations “……With the approaching centenary next August of the outbreak of the first world war, Australia is spending $32m to upgrade the memorial’s first world war galleries – part of meeting its mandate to help Australians “remember, interpret and understand” the country’s war experiences.
It is a broad and generous brief.
This mandate, however, has been narrowly interpreted by successive generations of memorial officials whose Anzac-centric focus continues to stubbornly exclude the fierce battles for sovereignty between Aboriginal Australians and pastoral settlers across the frontier, which are at the dark heart of Australia’s nationhood. Continue reading
Solar plan slammed September 12, 2013 Peter Jean Chief Assembly Reporter for The Canberra Times. The Canberra Liberals have called on the ACT government to abandon a proposal for a 10-megawatt solar farm to be built across the road from Uriarra Village……
Environment and Sustainable Development Minister Simon Corbell denied it was a done deal and said there would be a public consultation process.
Mr Corbell said he had met Uriarra residents on the day it was announced that Elements Energy had won a solar tender auction.
”Any suggestion that there has not been consultation upfront is wrong,” he said.
Three proposed large solar power projects would contribute $100 million to the ACT economy and save 1.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, Mr Corbell said. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/solar-plan-slammed-20130911-2tl3d.html#ixzz2ejgd0m8U
Royalla Solar Farm Secures Cash http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3923 4 Sept 13 The parties involved with the ACT’s Royalla Solar Farm have secured financial backing via ANZ and National Australia Bank.
The FRV Royalla Solar Farm will be constructed 23 kilometres south of Canberra’s centre. Approximately 83,000 solar panels at the facility will generate enough electricity to supply the power needs of around 4,500 homes.
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive David Green has congratulated the companies involved with securing the backing.
“The financial backing is obviously welcome news for both FRV (Fotowatio Renewable Ventures) and Acciona who are working together to deliver the project,” he said. “The ACT Government’s Solar Auction has been a game-changer in supporting this new form of renewable energy at the lowest cost to consumers.”
Construction of the plant is due to be completed in 2014. Continue reading
More Solar Farms For The ACT http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3896 Two new solar projects for the ACT combined with the 20 MW Royalla Solar Farm will generate enough power to supply 10,000 homes. 20 aug 13,
The two new projects are Zhenfa Solar’s 13-megawatt Mugga Lane Solar Park near the Mugga Lane Resource Management Centre, and Elementus’ 7-megawatt OneSun Capital Solar Farm in Coree.
Large-scale projects are chosen via the ACT’s auction process; which is operated under a tender-like process where companies compete for the right to a feed-in tariff and proposals are evaluated in terms of their overall value-for-money.
“The ACT Solar Auction is delivering large scale renewable energy at an affordable price,” said the Territory’s Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell. Continue reading
Wind taken out of protesters’ sails in Canberra Independent Australia 19 June 13 Callum Davidson and deputy editor Sandi Keane report from Melbourne and Canberra on a tale of two cities and three rallies — or rather two and a sorry fizzer. THE GLOVES CAME OFF today in Melbourne in the phony war waged against wind farms whilst in Canberra, the pro-renewables rally stole the show from the shadowy anti-wind pressure group, Stop These Things.
“The wind industry is being attacked by media-savvy and politically influential adversaries who often display a brazen disregard for factual information. The “Act on Facts” campaign is our way of fighting back.”
Speaking at the University of Melbourne today, Albaek said the industry has been too conservative:
“Today it’s gloves off. We’re stepping up our game to fight back but with one big difference — it will be fact-based.”
An impressive line-up of speakers including the master debunker of the mythical “Wind Turbine Syndrome”, Professor Simon Chapman, attracted a large crowd of enthusiastic renewables supporters. Chapman’s reading of the public mood that the community is no longer buying the fear campaign was certainly played out in Canberra, as Callum Davidson’s photos show. In the capital, a lackluster turnout of barely one hundred protesters emerged from the heavy morning fog and filed onto the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra. They came from Crookwell, Mudgee, Yass and a few stalwarts from Western Australia and far North Queensland. Their slogans carried the same gripe: no more windfarms.
Headlining this event was the staunchly anti-windfarm and vocal climate change skeptic, Alan Jones. The popular shockjock announced his unwavering support for their cause:…..http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/politics/wind-taken-out-of-protesters-sails-in-canberra/