The Queensland Government is committed to increasing the amount of renewable energy supply across the State. The target is a 50% (per cent) Renewable Energy Target (RET) for Queensland by 2030. To determine if this target is credible, the Queensland Government established the Renewable Energy Expert Panel in early 2016 and a draft report was released in October 2016.
Already there has been an uptake in the number of Development Applications for renewable energy facilities such as PV Solar Farms particularly in the West of the State. These types of facilities are significant in size and spread and as a result many issues are raised within the Planning Approval process to address Community concerns.
Due to the nature of these types of developments, understandably communities are concerned about the impacts on their surrounding environments and therefore Local Authorities are requiring detailed, specialist advice.
Landscape Architecture plays an important role in the approval of these types of renewable energy facilities and can greatly assist owners achieve development approval while helping to put communities minds at ease.
Inherently, the landscape is a major factor in such broad, areas of land that these types of projects cover and many aspects within the landscape need to be considered carefully. Visual Impact is an important consideration and Visual Assessment should be completed to determine the likelihood of impacts on view-sheds and possible mitigation strategies to address these impacts. Any Landscape Character is often considered unique by any one community and analysis of the landscape character is an important consideration throughout the assessment process.
Other important considerations are reflectivity, stormwater and overland flow impacts, changes to surrounding infrastructure and levels of activity during operation.
As the Queensland Government is committed to increasing the uptake of renewable energy to drive jobs, investment and emissions reduction, there is an underlying importance to deliver these facilities to a high standard to protect our communities and importantly our landscapes as these types of facilities will be around for a very long time.
Citicene have been involved in delivering development approval for PV Solar Farms including delivering landscape architectural advice and visual impact assessments. Contact us to learn how we can assist with your renewable energy project.