Resource Assessments Director, Clay Preshaw, said the Department had approved the 170-megawatt (MW) solar project 10km west of Wellington, which will power up to 70,000 homes and add to the hub of renewable energy projects established in the area.
“This is a multi-million-dollar project that will over the longer-term increase electricity capacity, help to cut greenhouse emissions and create jobs for the local community, including up to 250 jobs during construction.
“The project has been assessed on its merits, under planning legislation and clear official policies to consider any potential benefits or impacts to the environment, the economy and the community,” Mr Preshaw said.
Mr Preshaw said the project approval followed the release of a new Large-Scale Solar Energy Guideline developed by the Department and designed to lead applicants and the community through the assessment process for state significant solar farm proposals.
“The NSW Large Scale Solar Guideline aims to provide clear and consistent guidance to the community, applicants, industry and regulators on the environmental and social impacts of state significant solar energy projects, encouraging early and continued consultation, and suitable site selection
“The new guideline reflects the NSW Government’s strong commitment to NSW’S booming solar energy market.
“To date, the NSW Government and independent regional planning panels have approved a total of 49 large scale solar projects across the state,” Mr Preshaw said.
The Department will continue to work closely with the local Wellington community as future solar farms are assessed.