Stop massive solar farm in beautiful Brisbane Valley

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Sunshine Energy Australia, a company essentially based in Hong Kong, are proposing to construct the largest solar farm ever built in Australia on 2000 Hectares of land just outside of Kilcoy in the heart of the Brisbane Valley.

The application is for a 1500 MW facility.  5 million 3 metre high solar panels including 140 40 feet shipping containers full of batteries will be placed on just over 1000 Hectares (52.7% site coverage) of land which is right beside the scenic D'Aguilar Highway.  The company website even aims to extend the size to 2000 MW in the future.  The size and scale of the development will render the rural landscape unrecognizable.

The land is currently used as prime beef cattle grazing land.  The Somerset Region has a long history from Aboriginal to European settlement as being heavily reliant on natural resources and rural production.  The land has a strong record of producing quality grass fed beef cattle.  The land is forms part of the catchment of the Brisbane River and Wivenhoe Dam (Brisbane's water supply).  The region is also unfortunately home to noxious weeds which if not controlled and eradicated will overtake the land.

The construction phase of the development will add 80 heavy vehicles (including B Doubles) to the D'Aguilar Highway and Brisbane Valley Highway which a dual carriageways with very few passing lanes and road surfaces which have been acknowledged in past RACQ road surveys in the Top 10 for most dangerous and problematic roads.

As such, Somerset Regional Council should refuse the proposed development or request a substantially reduced development (eg 200 MW consistent with other solar farms in Australia) to achieve a solution more consistent with Rural Zones.