Employment opportunities and community benefit funds were both hot topics at RES Australia’s community information sessions held in Deniliquin last week.
The renewable energy company is in the process of creating development applications for two solar farms — Currawarra and Tarleigh Park — to be located 25km north-east of Deniliquin at Mayrung and 23km south-east of Deniliquin at Blighty, respectively.
The solar farms will connect directly into the TransGrid 132kV, which is the high voltage transmission network that runs through the area.
RES Australia development project manager Mike Whitbread said the sessions — which were held at the Peppin Heritage Centre on Tuesday and Wednesday last week — allowed community members to put forward any queries or concerns they have.
‘‘We have had a lot of people looking for work and employment opportunities during the construction and operations of the projects,’’ he said.
‘‘People were also asking about the community benefit funds, how they work and what projects they can be used for.
‘‘The feedback we have received has been really positive, the community is supportive and we have been pleased with the turn-out at the sessions.’’
The forum featured displays about RES Australia and information about the proposed project sites, designs and benefits.
‘‘We also provided photo montages which served as a visualisation to show how the sites look currently, how they will look with panels, and then how they will look with screening,’’ Mr Whitbread said.
Screening involves the development of vegetation between the site and the public roads to minimise visual impact.
‘‘We have identified certain areas where screening will take place as the visual impact can be higher if you’re closer to the site, particularly on Mayrung Road,’’ Mr Whitbread said.
NGH Environmental has been selected by RES Australia to conduct an environmental impact assessment for the project. Its managing director, Nick Graham-Higgs, was also at last week’s meetings.