An Amendment Report for the New England Solar Farm has been submitted to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, outlining the proposed changes to the Development Application (DA) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
The main changes involve the removal of the southern array and a small section of the northern array from the application after listening to the views of community members and our stakeholders.
The project still targets a 720-megawatt generating capacity for the solar farm development, creating up to 700 jobs during peak construction and up to 15 ongoing jobs.
UPC has committed to further consultation with the community ahead of submitting any new development application for a solar farm in the Salisbury Plains area in future.
The change means the solar farm will now be developed over 2,027 hectares of mostly cleared grazing land, a further reduction of around 25 percent to the overall size of the development footprint. There is also a reduction in the number of local roads to be used during construction and less visual impact for local neighbours. The percentage of land classified as Biophysical Strategic Agricultural Land across the development site is now significantly reduce
The solar farm will use single axis tracking technology that will allow the solar panels to rotate and track the path of the sun. The Watt-rating of the panels has increased over the last year and a half while UPC has been investigating the project site. This improvement in technology enables the targeted capacity to fit within the reduced development footprint. It will also still leave enough space for rain to naturally reach the ground and for sheep to continue to graze on land in and around the solar panels.
A Response to Submissions Report was also submitted to the NSW Government to respond to the community and Government agency submissions received as part of the public exhibition of the EIS and DA for the project.
The Department will review all project material before preparing the Assessment Report for the project. The report will be provided to the Independent Planning Commission, once established, which will be the consent authority for the project.
We will be holding a Community Information Session at our Uralla Office at 96B Bridge St from 4pm-7pm on Thursday June 27. Members of the community are invited to call in and meet our project team and ask any questions about the project.
Local community members and other stakeholders can continue to ask questions or provide feedback on the proposal via info@newenglandsolarfarm or by calling 1300 250 479.
You can also ask a question or post a comment on our Facebook page @newenglandsolarfarm
You can access the Amendment Report and other project documents on the Department of Planning and Environment website.