Let’s have a closer look at this solar farm project

BLUE SKY THINKING: Opponents of a proposed solar farm at Brewongle, on the outskirts of Bathurst, say there are much more appropriate locations for the project.
BLUE SKY THINKING: Opponents of a proposed solar farm at Brewongle, on the outskirts of Bathurst, say there are much more appropriate locations for the project.

I WOULD like to respond to Belinda Smith’s letter (“Electricity for thousands of homes? Sounds good”, October 11) about the proposed solar farm at Brewongle.

Photon Energy NV, the holding company based in the Netherlands, operates through subsidiaries, currently 41 of them. Nineteen of these subsidiaries have been disposed of previously.

Eight of the 41 are in Australia. The Photon Group no doubt keeps its holding company protected and it has whatever assets the Group possesses.

If a project goes bad, a subsidiary is disposed of. If the project is okay, the subsidiary is kept afloat. Losses will be kept in Australia. Profits will go to the Netherlands.

Santa Claus in reverse!

Government contributions ceased or reduced in the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Italy and Germany - so Photon sold its plant and has just been doing refinancing and maintenance there. No plant installations.

​Yes, they said the 200 hectares could continue to be grazed. The country is undulating with 397,000 solar panels - all on stands. Any attempt to commercially muster a commercial number of sheep would mean the sheep would encounter steel posts and equipment. The RSPCA would indeed be interested.

If a sheep is down it would not be detected and it would die an agonising death. But sure a non-commercial number of sheep could graze the weed and non-pasture paddock. Be wary of spin.

Yes, they did say the 397,000 solar panels looked like trees. They even said the birds liked them. What is disappointing is that Belinda Smith appears to believe them.

Yes, they did ask or give people to understand they would be creating local jobs. Again, their financial statement boasts 62 employees spread over their 42 companies. In reality, all of these are company officeholders and no employees.

Any installation will be by contractors sourced away from Bathurst and maintenance they boast is minimal.

Please contrast what a rural property, properly run, provides to the community. Any electricity generated will have no financial benefit to Bathurst, and the 46,000 homes, etc is no doubt as fanciful as Photon’s liquidity and its other statements.

In any event, no such generation is caused or contributed to by the good quality of the land and its zoning.

The question is not should we have a solar plant? The question is should we have a solar plant at this location given that there are alternative locations available, that satisfy the solar plant requirements, but on less productive land and with fewer neighbours, and with less visual impact?

Pretty easy to answer when the question is properly asked.

Peter R Hennessy