Junja Solar Farm near the Jinparinya community gets Town of Port Hedland approval

Alexander ScottNorth West Telegraph
The Junja Solar Farm near the Jinparinya community given ToPH approval.
Camera IconThe Junja Solar Farm near the Jinparinya community given ToPH approval. Credit: UWA/UWA

An initiative to develop a 30,000 panel solar farm near Jinparinya community has moved a step closer after Town of Port Hedland councillors endorsed the plan.

The Junja Solar Farm is a joint venture between Jinparinya Aboriginal Corporation and Pilbara Solar to development a 10mw facility 14km east of Port Hedland.

The 25.6ha lot, 250 metres north of the Jinparinya community, would provide power to the community and also be sold back to Horizon Power and is estimated to have an operational life of 30 years.

At last week’s meeting, councillors endorsed the plan and passed a motion to send the application to the Joint Development Assessment Panel.

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A biodiversity report by Pilbara Solar stated the impact to fauna would be low and was unlikely to have any impact on flora.

A Town officers’ report stated Pilbara Solar had indicated Desert Walnut trees would be relocated to the Junparinya community.

Pilbara Solar project manager Will Davis told the council meeting the plant would produce enough energy to power 3000 households per year or mine 5.5 million tonnes of iron ore.

Mr Davis said the Junja Solar Farm would generate $7-9m in total benefits to the Junparinya community over its lifetime.

“During construction we would have 60 full-time employees and we’re looking at contracting works out to local Indigenous businesses and the community itself receives land rent,” he said.

Junparinya man Donny Wilson said the community was isolated and it was hard to get consistent power.

TOPH Mayor Peter Carter said the project would help provide secure power for the isolated community.

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