Dingo Lane Solar Farm, Myocum

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Solar farms reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

The Dingo Lane Solar Farm project is a 5 megawatt (maximum) solar farm currently proposed for Council-owned land, next to the Resource and Recovery Centre at Dingo Lane, Myocum.

Background

In May 2019, Byron Shire Council committed to carrying out a detailed feasibility assessment for the solar farm project. Once built, the Dingo Lane Solar Farm will generate enough electricity to:

  • reduce Council’s carbon emissions
  • offset Council’s power usage; and
  • send additional renewable power back into the grid.

Community engagement commenced in November 2019, starting with a door knock and mail-out to local residents and neighbouring properties, followed by an on-site information session.

The detailed feasibility assessment also commenced in November 2019 and included confirming factors which will affect design risk (soil, flooding, glare) and gaining important input from the local community.

Expressions of interest were called for the design and construction/operations and maintenance of the solar farm. Five companies have been shortlisted by Byron Shire Council to participate in the early contractor involvement and progress to the design and construction documentation stage.

Current stage

Community contributions and feedback on this project are now being evaluated and incorporated into the DA documentation.

The Project Team are coordinating the procurement process for specialist consultants to carry out electricity grid modelling and preparing the DA for submission. The outcomes of the community contributions will be summarised in the DA.

In the interim, the Project Team remain available to answer questions directly via the Q&A tab.

Next steps

A DA will be prepared and submitted for public exhibition.

The Dingo Lane Solar Farm project is a 5 megawatt (maximum) solar farm currently proposed for Council-owned land, next to the Resource and Recovery Centre at Dingo Lane, Myocum.

Background

In May 2019, Byron Shire Council committed to carrying out a detailed feasibility assessment for the solar farm project. Once built, the Dingo Lane Solar Farm will generate enough electricity to:

  • reduce Council’s carbon emissions
  • offset Council’s power usage; and
  • send additional renewable power back into the grid.

Community engagement commenced in November 2019, starting with a door knock and mail-out to local residents and neighbouring properties, followed by an on-site information session.

The detailed feasibility assessment also commenced in November 2019 and included confirming factors which will affect design risk (soil, flooding, glare) and gaining important input from the local community.

Expressions of interest were called for the design and construction/operations and maintenance of the solar farm. Five companies have been shortlisted by Byron Shire Council to participate in the early contractor involvement and progress to the design and construction documentation stage.

Current stage

Community contributions and feedback on this project are now being evaluated and incorporated into the DA documentation.

The Project Team are coordinating the procurement process for specialist consultants to carry out electricity grid modelling and preparing the DA for submission. The outcomes of the community contributions will be summarised in the DA.

In the interim, the Project Team remain available to answer questions directly via the Q&A tab.

Next steps

A DA will be prepared and submitted for public exhibition.

  • Shortlist selected for Myocum solar farm

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    16 Jun 2020
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    Five companies have been shortlisted by Byron Shire Council to progress to the design and construction documentation stage of a 5MW solar farm at Dingo Lane, Myocum.

    The companies invited to participate in the early contractor involvement are: Autonomous Energy Pty Ltd, Todae Solar Pty Ltd, Solgen Energy Pty Ltd, Gildemeister LSG Pty Ltd and Coolamon Energy Pty Ltd. The project team will soon progress the procurement process for specialist consultants to carry out electricity grid modelling and prepare a DA for submission.

    Mayor Simon Richardson said it was an opportunity to increase local employment in the renewable energy sector in the Northern Rivers region.

    “We’ve talked about the need to diversify beyond a dependency on tourism and hospitality, which we do very well, and as we start moving into the renewable energy space it gives us an opportunity to potentially help support that local industry, to add to their expertise,” Mayor Richardson said.

    Council is also engaging with local Aboriginal Traditional Custodians, the Arakwal People of Byron Bay, at this early planning stage of the project to investigate opportunities for employment and cultural projects on the proposed solar farm or other Council initiatives.

    Community input has been sought early on in the project so that it can be incorporated into the design and construction documentation and summarised in the DA. The DA process also provides opportunity for further community feedback before a decision is made on the next stage of the project.

    Council remains committed to consulting with key stakeholders. As face-to-face community meetings are currently under COVID-19 restrictions, Council is providing further opportunity for feedback at this stage of the project until 18 May.

    Further information such as the proposed site layout, glare assessment summary and flood maps are now available to view on the Dingo Lane Solar Farm project page on the Your Say Byron Shire website at: www.yoursaybyronshire.com.au/dingo-lane-solar-farm1

    Published on 11 May 2020

  • Potential site layout - solar panels

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    27 Apr 2020
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  • Summary - Draft Glare Impact Assessment Report

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    27 Apr 2020
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    Environmental Ethos, January 2020.

    In summary, based on the assumptions and parameters of this desktop assessment, the following results were identified:

    • The viewshed analysis identified limited visibility of the Project site from the north, south and east due to ridgelines blocking views from these directions.
    • Existing vegetation, along creek lines, on hill slopes, and surrounding large lot residential areas, substantially screen views to the Project site.
    • No glare potential was identified in the assessment modelling when the Project utilises a single axis tracking system, however further assessment of backtracking operations is required, should this system be selected as the preferred option.
    • Three (3) properties were identified in the glare modelling with potential to be affected by glare (OP4, OP6 and OP24) when the Project utilises a Fixed Frame System.
    • The risk assessment identified two (2) properties (OP4 and OP24) were low risk since existing vegetation was considered likely to block line of sight to the Project.
    • One (1) property (OP6) located 800 metres to the west of the Project was identified as of moderate risk of potential glare impacts; further investigation is recommended to identify the level of screening between the Project site and the property, and potential requirement for supplementary screening.
    • Dingo Lane was identified in the modelling as potentially affected by glare when a Fixed Frame System is used. The modelling results showed glare originated from PV arrays located on flat land, PV arrays on sloping land were found not to affect Dingo Lane.
    • A recommendation of this report is to establish vegetated landscape buffers along the Project site’s northern and western boundaries to mitigate glare potential affecting Dingo Lane; alternatively screen planting may occur within or immediately adjoining Dingo Lane road reserve to achieve the same effect.
    • Vegetation screening should be established prior to the operation of the Solar Farm, and managed and maintained for the life of the Project, in order to avoid the risk of glare impacting travellers along Dingo Lane.

    Summary – extracted from full report, available on request via email to Project Team


  • Dingo Lane Solar Farm Flood Assessment - Water Level Map

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    27 Apr 2020
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  • Council starts engagement on proposed 5MW solar farm

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    23 Jan 2020
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    Published on 11 December 2019

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    Community engagement about the proposed 5 megawatt solar farm on Council-owned land at 1 Dingo Lane, Myocum has started with an on-site information session held for local residents and neighbouring properties.

    A small group of residents and property owners attended the meeting with members of Council’s project team. A door knocking campaign and letterbox drop has also been completed in the Myocum area directly adjacent to and overlooking the proposed solar farm site which is on land next to the Resource and Recovery Centre.

    Council’s Project Manager, Andrew Swan, said the on-site meeting was the first point of contact with key stakeholders and that communication would continue throughout the detailed feasibility stage of the Dingo Lane Solar Farm project.

    “Council is engaging with the community early so that there is a clear understanding of the perspectives of the Byron Shire community with regards to a solar farm of this size before Council commits to the DA process”, Mr Swan said.

    “It’s important to know of any potential impacts on the community so that Council can look at mitigation options and assess the overall risk versus the community benefit this solar farm project would bring.”

    When constructed, the 5MW solar farm will generate enough electricity to offset Council’s power usage and send additional renewable power back into the grid.

    Mr Swan said those who attended the meeting had been interested to learn more about potential glare and visual impacts of the solar panels, possibility of dual use of the site, dust and traffic issues from the existing unsealed road, funding and payback, alternative sustainable initiatives, flooding impacts and Council’s infrastructure priorities.

    “We’re currently conducting glare and flooding assessments of the proposed site and will share the findings of these reports with the community once received in the new year.”

    The project team is seeking input from any interested groups and individuals and plan to continue engagement of the wider community through additional meetings in early 2020.

  • Council investing in 5-megawatt solar farm for clean energy future

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    23 Jan 2020
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    Published on 31 May 2019

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    Council’s plans for a huge 5-megawatt solar farm next to the Resource Recovery Centre at Myocum on Dingo Lane took a leap forward at the May Council meeting when $465,000 was committed to get the planning, design and tender process underway.

    Once constructed, the new solar farm would generate enough electricity to offset Council’s power usage and send additional renewable power to put back in to the grid.

    “It’s no surprise that I am extremely excited by the scale of this project and the benefits it will deliver to our community.

    “This will be the biggest solar farm this side of the range in NSW by a very long shot,” Byron Shire Mayor, Simon Richardson said.

    “To give you some idea of the size - five megawatt solar farms can generate enough electricity for around 1000 households.

    “Our plan is to use the energy generated by this solar farm to help Council achieve 100% net zero emissions by 2025 and to be a leader in the region, and NSW, with renewable energy solutions for the future.

    “This is a serious project with the proposed solar farm to be built on approximately 13 hectares of land that is currently buffer land adjacent to the Byron Resource Recovery Centre,” he said.

    The solar panels will occupy 6.3 hectares of the 73.53 hectare property.

    “The allocation of $465,000 in the 2019/20 budget is a substantial investment and this means that once this initial feasibility work is done, we can immediately move straight into stage two which will be the actual construction of the solar farm.

    “The protection of the environment is a major consideration for our residents, and Councillors and staff, so to be able to turn this project from a concept, to something that is delivering immense benefit by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and using beautiful solar energy to power our organisation is a great outcome on so many levels.

    “This will save money in the long-run which in turn is a saving for our ratepayers and it is a key component identified in our Net Zero Emissions Strategy for Council Operations 2025,” Mayor Richardson said.

    “People may also be interested to know that in the next several months we will be installing a solar roof on the carpark next to the Council offices in Mullumbimby with this project expected to generate power to help offset Council’s energy charges and also contribute to reducing Council’s net emissions,” he said.

    Site studies and the procurement processes required to determine the detailed feasibility of the solar farm will progress during the next 12 months, including engagement with key stakeholders including neighbouring residents at Myocum. Based on the recent report to Council, and subject to the necessary approvals, construction could start around September 2020, with estimates for practical completion slated for May 2021.