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BACKGROUND Information

General Questions

How will the solar farm project impact the local community?
The solar farm project will help to increase the local economy as it will relocate workers to this project and contribute to an increase in the town’s economy. This will also be an opportunity for locals to gain employment & for local contractors to submit tenders.

Where is the project located?
The project is located at 17235 Dawson Highway, Banana, which is within the Banana Shire Council local government area (LGA). The site is approximately 6.5 km south-west of Banana and 12 km north-east of Moura.

What is the size of the project?
The project includes the construction, operation, upgrading and future decommissioning of an 110MWDC photovoltaic electricity generating works and associated infrastructure, including grid connection to the Powerlink zone substation. The proposed site is contained within one Lot and has a development footprint of approximately 203 ha. Approximately 185,776 solar panels will be installed. The site was selected for the region’s high solar resource, its proximity to Powerlink’s transmission network, and access from Dawson Highway.

How much electricity will the project generate?
Once operational, the project will generate enough electricity to power over 43,000 Australian homes.

How long will construction be conducted on site for?
Construction on-site will be conducted for approximately 12 months.

What’s the longevity of a solar farm project?
The expected lifespan of a solar farm project is usually up to 25 to 30 years. However, for the Moura project, the solar array is anticipated to have a 30–50-year life span.

What technologies is MYTILINEOS using to build its solar farms?
MYTILINEOS is using high quality tracker systems to build its solar farms and the most up to date module technologies.

What is the life cycle of a photovoltaic panel?
The overall lifespan of a solar panel is at least 25+ years with an average annual degradation rate of 0.50%.

Will the solar farm reduce my electricity bill?
The electricity generated from the solar farm is transmitted into the electricity grid and alters the supply-demand equation, which in turn may put downward pressure on electricity bills.

What type of maintenance activities will be conducted after construction?
Weekly, monthly, and 6 monthly inspections and tests of mechanical & electrical infrastructure will be conducted, along with vegetation management and module cleaning.


Is there any impact on flora and fauna?
Prior to vegetation clearance and ground-breaking activities, a pre-clearance survey will be undertaken to ensure vegetation and fauna are properly identified, retained, treated, or relocated. A fence will be installed around the site to prevent fauna presence on-site. A pre-clearance survey will be undertaken by a fauna spotter-catcher prior to commencing site works, which will help identify the presence of habitat features within the works footprint. If fauna is identified within the site, a fauna spotter-catcher will be called to remove the animal from within the works area.

Do photovoltaic panels impact geology?
Most of the solar panels are primarily made from silicon, which is the main component in sand. Due to the abundance of silicon on Earth, photovoltaic panels don’t have a negative impact on the environment.

How will the waste be managed on site?
All wastes are disposed of at a licensed Waste Management Centre. Wastes are removed and disposed of in accordance with the Waste Schedule. No waste will be burnt or buried on-site. All wastes removed from the site will be recorded in the Environmental Tracking Register, which will include details such as the type of waste, quantity, and whether the waste has been disposed of or recycled. Any wastes associated with temporary amenities at the site during the works will be managed and disposed of in accordance with DES guidelines.

How will bushfires be prevented/managed during & after construction?
MYTILINEOS contributes to initiating and maintaining site preparedness and the management of fire risk associated with on-ground activities, whilst also demonstrating knowledge of the required bushfire emergency response actions. MYTILINEOS employees and subcontractors are qualified and competent in the use of fire-fighting equipment provided at the Moura Solar Farm. MYTILINEOS will conduct emergency response drills as part of the emergency response training and preparation. The purpose of the drills will be to ensure that staff working on-site are aware of the emergency response protocol and can rehearse and ‘walk through’ the required steps and actions. This is to ensure that staff can effectively manage and control bush fire threat on-site. A 10m asset protection zone will be established around the solar farm and is completely within the Moura Solar Farm site. In the event of a bushfire warning, the site will be on high alert and staff will monitor updates from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (Rural Fire Service). Hot works (e.g. welding, oxy-cutting) must only be undertaken in accordance with current fire restrictions, and a Hot Works Permit system shall be established on-site to manage the risks associated with a bushfire.
All construction will be carried out in accordance with the Australian Standard for the Construction of
Buildings in Bushfire-Prone Areas – AS3959 – 2009. AS3959 outlines the requirements for the construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas, which is designed to improve their safety as they may be subject to burning debris, radiant heat or flame contact generated from a bushfire. No waste or vegetation is to be burned on-site at any time. During Total Fire Ban days, no hot works will be permitted. A security team will be on-site 24/7 during construction.

Do solar farms make any noise?
Building a solar farm can be noisy depending on how close the receptors are to the construction site. However, construction will only be undertaken Monday to Saturday 6:30am to 6:30pm, and noise generating construction activities will be limited to standard construction hours, except where an acceptable acoustic solution can be identified to minimise adverse amenity impacts on receptors.

Will there be much dust generated during construction? If so, how will this be managed/mitigated?
MYTILINEOS will monitor daily weather and adjust construction activities to minimise dust generation i.e., during high winds and/or dry conditions. MYTILINEOS will also manage dust suppression using a water cart on work areas and stockpiles to prevent dust generation.

Has the site been inspected for culture and heritage artefacts? How will this be managed?
A search of the National Native Title Tribunal registers was undertaken on 10 March 2020. The site is not within a Native Title determination area and no Indigenous Land Use Agreements are in place. The Gangalu Nation People have an active Native Title claim (QC2012/009) which does include the site. However, as the property is listed as Freehold, this signifies that Native Title claims do not apply (This can be found in the Native Title Act 1993). In the unlikely event that human remains are discovered, all work in the area will immediately stop, and a protection zone will be created, with the Queensland Police being immediately notified. In all areas of the site, the Aboriginal Party may attribute residual cultural heritage significance to ceremonial places, occupation sites, artefact scatters and/or contact sites, regardless of the severity of previous ground disturbance. If it is necessary to excavate, relocate, or remove unexpected finds, work will immediately stop, and a protection zone will be created. The RPS will then be notified to determine whether the unexpected find is an Aboriginal Object or Place. If determined so, consultation with the Aboriginal Party will be necessary, and the Land User will need to seek their advice and agreement on how best to avoid or minimise harm to the Aboriginal heritage.

Roads & Access

What type of vehicles will be travelling on/off site?
Vehicles entering the site will consist of construction worker vehicles and larger delivery trucks. The largest trucks will be able to carry containers of equipment during the course of construction as well as other machinery. There will be an approximate maximum of 64 return vehicle movements per day, whilst there will be significantly less movement during non-peak periods as the construction stage nears completion.

Is the solar farm going to impact traffic?
Traffic linked with the project will be greatest during the construction phase of the project. Traffic will be associated with the delivery of construction materials and the daily movement of construction workers. Construction is not expected to have any significant effect (no worsening) on current road traffic movements. Most of the traffic generated will either be workforce labour (who will be travelling from nearby towns outside the normal peak hour traffic times), or deliveries being scheduled from major towns (Gladstone, Rockhampton or Bundaberg) during peak traffic times. In terms of the worst-case scenario for traffic generation, this is most likely to occur in month five of construction. It is estimated that up to 64 vehicles will be travelling to and from the site per day within an approximate time frame of 22 days. However, the project’s traffic during construction and at the year of opening does not exceed the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) Traffic Impact.

How will you manage/control the traffic?
To provide adequate and safe site access from Dawson Highway to the site, the access and intersection will be upgraded.

Will solar panels generate glare or glint?
Studies on operational solar farms have demonstrated that photovoltaic panels are designed to reflect minimal light in order to maximise their efficiency. In response to this, MYTILINEOS intend on using equipment designed to mitigate issues with reflection and glare.

How will the visual impact be managed?
The design and sitting of the solar modules will not create an adverse visual impact as landscaping will be integrated on the boundary closest to those who may be possibly affected. This will also act as a screen for the onsite offices, switchyard and vehicle parking, which will help camouflage the site from public view.


How often will the panels be cleaned and how will they be cleaned?
This will vary depending on various factors. However, the panels will generally be cleaned once every one to two years. They will be cleaned by using a panel cleaning tractor.

Where is the power going to and how much cheaper will electricity be? Also, are savings going to be seen?
The electrons feed onto the network through transmission and distribution lines, and from there, it travels to where it is needed. In general, renewables have been seen to bring down electricity prices, and research shows that renewables are now cheaper than newly-built coal and gas-powered stations. In response to savings, savings will generally be 30% and can be seen within 6 months after the completion of the solar farm.

How are the damaged panels going to be disposed of if a hailstorm damages them?
Solar panels are disposed of in a similar manner to electronic wastes. They will be collected and disposed of through accredited E-wastes collection companies.

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