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Mildura Development Corporation and Mildura Tourism are integrating to become a new and exciting organisation to be known as Mildura Regional Development (MRD). A new Board has been established and a new CEO will be appointed in the coming weeks.
REGIONAL INTERACTIVE ECONOMIC
Overland Sun Farming reflects Mildura’s bright future
Mildura Development Corporation (MDC) says the go-ahead for Overland Sun Farming’s three solar power plant projects, of which two are in this region, confirms Mildura’s status as the State’s premier solar region.
The Melbourne-based Australian firm in conjunction with Island Green Power has completed the planning process and has grid connection agreements for its projects at Wemen, Yatpool and Iraak. They will be ground-mounted solar photovoltaic arrays with capacity for more than 320 megawatts of solar energy – enough to power more than 600,000 homes.
MDC Chair, Jennifer Grigg said the green light for the project was the news the region had been waiting for.
“It’s exciting for Sunraysia, our economy and our future simply because of the scale of this project and the wider potential,” Ms Grigg said.
“The solar industry is such a natural fit for Mildura and MDC has put a priority on securing this industry for our region,” she said.
“Firstly because of the immediate, direct economic impact of solar projects, but also for the bigger picture in diversifying our economic base on the back of a sustainable, growing horticultural industry.”
Overland Sun Farming estimates the three projects will represent a $500 million investment in the region and generate 200 jobs during construction.
“We know there will be support needed in professional services and jobs generated in assembly, infrastructure and construction,” Ms Garonne said.
“We will be concentrating on setting up any linkages we can to local operators to ensure as much of this work stays local as possible,” she said.
“In addition, there will obviously also be benefit flowing through to business support and tourism, given the accessible location of the sites.”
To date, there have been six solar power planning permits approved by Mildura Rural City Council, but Ms Grigg said there continued to be strong interest from other large-scale investors.
“We know we are one of the best locations in Victoria for the solar industry and conveying that to potential investors is what we’ve been focused on,” Ms Grigg said.
“Our tristate location, our access to the national transmission network, high solar exposure and our flat, affordable, flood proof land make Mildura an obvious choice,” she said.
“We have all the best natural attributes, but also the airport and a skilled infrastructure and service support sector as well as a workforce that is used to delivering big infrastructure projects. Nowhere else in Victoria has that.”
Ms Grigg said the announcement was reward for the ongoing commitment of MDC, the Council and other business and community leaders in Mildura over many years.
“So many people have believed in the potential of this industry for our region – it’s fantastic to see this project come to fruition,” she said.
“It’s been a pleasure working with Overland Sun Farming’s Directors Brett Thomas and Ben Barnett. They are to be congratulated for their persistence and continued interest in the Mildura region that now sees us with not one, but three solar farms being developed.”
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