CONCERNS are bubbling about the proposed Yanco Solar Farm, but it's not because residents are against renewable energy.
Rather it's the arable land the solar farm may be constructed on, which is proposed to be located one kilometre west of Yanco.
The project has been put forward by ib vogt, an international engineering company.
Whether or not the proposal goes ahead is not a decision Leeton Shire Council will have a hand in, rather it is a matter for the state government.
This is where the worries start to surface, along with what happens to the farm's assets at the end of the solar farm's 30-year lifespan.
Leeton resident Roy Currie has conducted significant research into the proposed farm and presented his concerns to council last week.
Mr Currie has personal experience on the land proposed for the project, having worked on several of the bores located there.
He questioned the environmental impact statement (EIS) put forward by ib vogt as companies do not need to have an independent body conduct this research.
"The figures they use for economic return is loaded in their favour ... the EIS is sloppy," Mr Currie said.
ib vogt said the EIS outlines any potential impacts, including noise or visual impairments and what will be done to mitigate those issues.
However, that hasn't stopped council from now worrying whether it has left its run too late to object.
Mayor Paul Maytom reiterated he wasn't against solar energy, but it's location, as well as council seemingly not being able to have much of a hand in the process.
"On top of concerns about what we as council are going to have to deal with or be left with at the end of the 30-year period, we actually don't really have much of a say in this matter," he said.
Council is in the process of putting forward a submission on the proposal and will outline its concerns.
Solar farms such as this have come to the attention of communities across the state, with one being knocked back after the community rallied for it to not go ahead.
Another proposal for a similar project will soon be put forward for a location near Murrami.
A solar farm has already been established at Coleambally, with another proposed for Darlington Point and Narrandera.
ib vogt has had several consultations with the community in the shire and feedback can be given at https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/major-projects/project/9391.
MIA resident Noel Hicks is also worried about solar farms being established on prime agricultural land.
"It just shouldn't be allowed on arable land," he said.
"I'm not opposed to solar, it's just the way these companies are going about it.
"It's all about money to them. And, what's going to happen to these huge solar panels when the 30 years are up?
"What sort of costs is that going to mean for my children and grandchildren at that time?
"These big companies aren't going to care."
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