Residents will have the opportunity next week to put questions to the operators behind Orange's soon-to-be-constructed solar farm.
The $8.9 million project which has proven divisive since its development application was first lodged is due to be built on farmland about six kilometres outside the city.
In the lead-up to construction commencing, ITP Developments is hosting an online event on October 31, from 10am to 12pm via the Clean Energy Council website.
An ITP Developments spokesperson said the virtual event will give the community a chance to ask questions.
"Attendees can expect to hear two talks: one from the engineering team that is working on the project about the construction process, the battery that stores excess solar energy, and also the panel tracking technology that follows the sun throughout the day," the spokesperson said.
"And the second talk will be from the horticulture specialist who worked on the landscaping plan for the screen planting around the actual solar farm.
"She'll be talking about why we've chosen particular native plant species and their benefit, and also their biodiversity potential to help improve biodiversity in the Orange area by planting pollen-bearing or bird-feeding trees and plants."
The spokesperson added that a mock-up or artist's impression of the finished project will soon be available to the public to allow people to see how the native trees would shield the sight of the solar farm.
Concerns over the site being a "eye sore" had been one of the main reasons for councillors as well as community members opposing the 5MW solar farm.
In November 2020, the project was voted down by Orange City City before the state government's Western Regional Planning Panel stepped in and approved it.
The ITP Developments spokesperson said the company had taken these concerns on board and were happy to provide updates at the virtual event.
"The whole point of talking with the horticulture specialists on this green planting [component] is to address that ["eye sore"] concern," she said.
"That's the idea behind it: green planting to conceal any of the solar farm that's visible.... from the Mitchell Highway, as well as from the neighbours."
Construction had been due to commence this year but was delayed by COVID. It is now expected to start in early 2022 and take three months to complete.
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