The Solar energy facilities – design and development guideline provides an overview of the policy, legislative and statutory planning arrangements for solar energy facility projects in Victoria.

This guideline should be used to guide the development of, and assist in the granting of a permit for, ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) solar structures the main purpose of which is to export electricity generated onsite to the National Electricity Market (NEM), either directly or via battery storage. This guideline does not apply to roof-mounted solar panel arrays, which mainly supply energy to an existing use on the land on which it is located.

This guideline provides:

  • information for solar farm developers (proponents), the community, regulators and decision-makers (responsible authorities) relating to the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the P&E Act) and the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPPs)
  • information and direction about the policy, legislative and statutory planning requirements relating to the siting and design of solar energy facilities
  • an overview of best-practice advice relating to each stage of the site selection, design, construction, operation and decommissioning continuum.

This guideline is intended as a resource for:

  • proponents considering developing ground-mounted solar energy facilities in Victoria
  • responsible authorities and stakeholders who provide advice and consider the appropriateness of a solar energy facility in any given location
  • any party interested in understanding the process to develop solar energy facilities in Victoria.

This guideline leads proponents and decision-makers through the various stages of the siting, design and development assessment process. It identifies, and addresses issues they may need to consider during each stage. Below is an overview of how the guideline is structured:

About this guideline: What the guideline is, who it’s for and with whom to engage at the start of the process;

Solar energy facilities in Victoria: What a large-scale solar energy facility is and Victorian Government policies and strategies to encourage more renewable energy in Victoria;

Identifying a suitable location: Policy, strategy and legislative matters to consider at the site selection stage and approvals that might be needed at or before the planning permit stage;

Best practice for proponents: Things to consider to engage the community and to design, construct, operate and decommission a facility, to inform preparation of a planning permit application;

Applying for a planning permit: The Victoria Planning Provisions framework for the assessment of a planning permit for a solar energy facility and its associated infrastructure, and information about the administration of a planning permit.

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