Community Reference Group members selected to help oversee Community Benefit Sharing Initiative

We are very pleased to announce the selection of seven Community Reference Group (CRG) members to help us establish and implement governance arrangements for the Community Benefit Sharing Initiative (CBSI) to be funded as part of the New England Solar Farm.

The CRG members hold an excellent range of skills and experience that will greatly assist us in setting up the program and overseeing the funding selection process.

We were also very pleased that the newly appointed CRG members have excellent connections to the local community and knowledge of the history, environment and local community organisations.   


The New England Solar Farm CRG members are:

  • Bruce McMullen

  • Peter Rasmussen

  • Lone Petrov

  • Lisa Heagney

  • Richard Daugherty

  • Sandra Eady

  • Thomas O’Connor


The CBSI was proposed by UPC\AC Renewables Australia as a mechanism for the solar farm to share some of the revenue it generated with the community. 

The New England Solar Farm will fund the program by providing $250 a year for every megawatt of power generating capacity installed at the solar farm over its 25-year working life.  The contribution will start at $100,000 at the commencement of construction, expected to occur in the coming months.


UPC\AC recently made a decision to double the starting amount from $50,000 to $100,000 from year one to help provide more support to the local community during the construction of the project.

We would like to thank all members of the community who took the time to apply for membership on the CRG. As a result of this popular support the selection process drew on a high calibre field.

The CRG will meet over the coming weeks to discuss the legal, accounting and governance framework which will allow proper consideration of the first round of community grant applications.

See the latest CBSI  fact sheet.

Other Community Benefits

The project will provide a number of other benefits including:


  • Direct and indirect business opportunities for the local and regional economy, potentially including equipment suppliers, contractors, labour hire companies, accommodation providers, eateries and fuel suppliers etc;

  • Employment opportunities, with up to 500 employees needed during the construction of the solar farm which will run for a period of 36 months;

  • Additional jobs are likely to be created if a battery energy storage facility is also built within the same timeframe;

  • Helping meet the NSW and Commonwealth government renewable energy targets;

  • Annual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and generation of enough clean renewable electricity to power up to around 250,000 NSW homes; and

  • Increasing energy security by replacing ageing fossil fuel generators when they retire from service.

Supporting the Community

We are proud to be supporting a number of other important community and sporting organisations across the region. This includes the:

  • ZNet Uralla ​

  • Uralla Cricket Club

  • Can Assist Uralla

  • Uralla Rugby Club

  • Uralla Netball Club

  • Uralla Tennis Club

We have also provided a $10,000 donation to the Need for Feed Disaster Relief program being run by the Lions for drought affected farmers in NSW and across the region. You can find out more about this very worthy cause here.


Community meetings

Since May 2018 we have held several public meetings in Uralla where we have presented information on the project and had many productive conversations with members of the community. Find out when our next community meeting will be here.


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Community Information Line: 1300 250 479

Facebook page: @newenglandsolarfarm


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