Proposed solar farms under scrutiny by NSW IPC
Published Date : 2023-November-8, Wednesday
Two new proposed solar farms in NSW have been put under the microscope by the NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPC) due to the high number of submissions received when placed on public exhibition.
Oxley Solar Development Pty Ltd, a subsidiary
of Solar Megawatt Holdings, is proposing to develop the 215 MW Oxley Solar Farm and 50 MW / 50 MWh battery
approximately 14km south-east of Armidale in the New England Renewable Energy
Zone. The project would connect to two existing 132kv transmission lines that cross
The Department of Planning and
Environment (DPE) exhibited the Environmental Impact Statement for the project
and received 78 objections and comment from Armidale Regional Council.
Overall, the DPE considered the site
to be appropriate for the project as it has good solar resources and available
capacity on the existing electricity network.
The DPE said the project “would also
provide flow-on benefits to the local community, including up to 300
construction jobs, 5 operational jobs and contributions to local council of
$2,790,000 on commencement of construction then an annual payment of $139,500,
through a voluntary planning agreement”, and “there would be broader benefits
to the State through an injection of $370 million in capital investment into
the NSW economy”.
A public meeting arranged by the IPC was
held on 17 October, with the IPC consequently recommending approval of the
The other project being closely
scrutinised by the IPC is Trina Solar’s 200 MW Glenellen
Solar Farm, to be located approximately 2km north-east of Jindera
in the Greater Hume local government area.
In response to the exhibition of the
project’s EIS in October-November 2020, the DPE received 107 public
submissions, consisting of 79 objections, 27 supporting submissions and one
The DPE recommended approval of the
project based on the benefits it would bring including up to 200 construction jobs, contributions to
Council through a voluntary planning agreement for community enhancement
projects valued at $2.5 million, and an injection of $250 million in capital
investment into the NSW economy.
A public meeting about the proposed
solar farm is scheduled for 16 November.