Renewable Energy opportunities on pastoral land

Pastoral lessees now have the opportunity to participate in renewable energy (wind and solar) developments thanks to changes to the Pastoral Land Management and Conservation Act 1989.

What do the changes mean for me?

Pastoral lessees now have the opportunity to contact renewable energy developers directly to discuss options for diversification – providing a new income stream to landholders.

Licence and development fees for wind or solar farms will be paid into the Pastoral Land Management Fund by the renewable energy developer.

Ninety-five per cent of those payments are distributed to the pastoral lessee and the Native Title holder after consultation by the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation.

Why has this happened?

The South Australian Government is committed to renewable energy production and supporting investment in the industry – already reaching its target of achieving 20 per cent renewable energy production by 2014.

South Australia has now committed to achieving 50 per cent renewable energy production by 2025 – with the changes made by the Pastoral Land Management and Conservation (Renewable Energy) Amendment Bill 2014 one of many initiative planned to achieve this.

The Bill, which came into effect September 2015, provides renewable energy investors with more opportunity to access land for renewable energy projects – with investors now able to access 40 per cent of South Australia’s land mass that is Crown land subject to pastoral lease.

Renewable Energy not only helps the environment; it stimulates growth in the clean energy industries of the future, and provides employment and economic opportunities for many regional communities.

How does it work?

Pastoral lessees can negotiate a clear process for the initial development of any project with renewable energy developers.

A land access agreement is negotiated between the pastoral lessee and the renewable energy developer with all other interest groups (eg Native Title holders) being fully consulted before a licence can be granted.

The Minister can then grant renewable energy licences in relation to pastoral land for a term of 25 years, with a right to renew for an additional term.

Developers must comply with critical progress milestones, or risk cancellation of their licence.

Who is eligible?

All Crown land subject to a pastoral lease is eligible regardless of its approved land use.

However, wind and solar farms are not possible in the Woomera Prohibited Area due to potential interference with the Woomera defence equipment.

How do I get involved?

Interested pastoral lessees are encouraged to contact renewable energy developers to discuss possible projects to see if this is the right fit for them.

Lease holders can contact Lyn Taylor or Chris Turner at the Pastoral Unit for a list of potential developers.

Applications for land use change and renewable energy licences are made through the Minister, with native vegetation and Native Title considerations required prior to approval.

For additional information on this new legislation or for a copy of the Pastoral Land Management & Conservation (Renewable Energy) Amendment Bill 2014 contact the Pastoral Unit 8429 0333.

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