Managing our impacts
Solar farms by nature deliver positive environmental outcomes.
Solar power is a renewable energy that delivers consistent and stable power output during daylight hours. Increasing the use of solar energy to power our homes and businesses is important to reduce our consumption of carbon-intensive fossil fuels, responsible for the damaging impacts of climate change.
Ross River Solar Farm generates around 300,000 MWh per annum. This zero emissions electricity is fed into the National Electricity Grid for use by homes and businesses.
We have identified sustainable, cost effective sources of water for all onsite water needs.
The bulk of water used onsite is sourced from two existing bores that were established to support the mango farm and remain operational. No new bores will be established on the site.
Flora and Fauna
Ecological studies – including flora and fauna surveys – are an important part of preparing for a solar project. Investigations of the entire site were conducted to determine if sensitive native vegetation or animals are present on the site.
The vast majority of the site’s vegetation was not recognised as sensitive or endangered. This is a result of the site having been previously cleared for agricultural use. Ecological studies have also not identified any essential habitat for species of conservation significance.
Planning for bushfires is undertaken with the assistance of local Rural Fire Services to ensure site personnel are well prepared in the event of a bushfire.
Solar panels are designed to absorb light and as such, do not reflect significant levels of sunlight – the cause of glint or glare. The potential for glare from a solar farm must be demonstrated before it can be built. ‘Worst case scenario’ glare modelling for Ross River Solar Farm showed that the occurrence of glare at nearby properties and roadways was unlikely.
Given the low profile of its solar panels, Ross River Solar Farm has minimal impact on the existing landscape character. Panels are no more than three metres in height. No new high voltage transmission lines were required as part of this development. A three-metre deep natural planting screen has been established for the Southern and Northern boundary and will screen the project from ground views as it continues to grow.