First Solar Australia is branching into Victoria for the first time, with a proposed solar farm set for north of Numurkah.
The Moira Solar Farm, as it will be known, will be located at the intersection of Numurkah and Naring Rds and will include 220000 modules and be about 82MW in capacity.
When complete, the site will be able to generate enough power for 36000 homes and reduce 160000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is the equivalent of taking 34000 cars off the road.
The site was chosen because of the flat surface and its proximity to the town’s power grid.
First Solar’s project management director Tom Best said the land was not going to be taken away forever.
‘‘My first response (to concerned locals) is that it is not permanent,’’ he said.
‘‘It will only be taken for 30 years for alternative use and all infrastructure can be returned.
‘‘During the operation of the plant, the land gets a break from rigorous farming. It may actually improve the land.’’
Despite being a first in Victoria, American solar company First Solar has ventured around the country since 2008 and has completed projects in Western Australia and Queensland as well as a number of regional projects including solar plants at Nyngan and Broken Hill in NSW.
Mr Best said the Moira site, 2km north of Numurkah, was not the only site in the region First Solar had its eyes on.
‘‘We are looking at other sites in the region,’’ he said.
‘‘It is competitive in Victoria and the location of our new potential sites is sensitive information.’’