Glenellen Solar Farm is a State Significant Development
A Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA) has been prepared which outlines the proposal, including the site and its surroundings, the statutory framework for approval and identification of key potential environmental issues that may be associated with a solar farm development. The PEA supports a request to the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment (DPIE) for Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) to be issued, which will guide the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the development under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (EP&A Act).
The proposed solar farm will also have a relatively confined area of visibility due to topography and surrounding vegetation.
Mapping has identified nearby residences that may have views of the solar farm when it is constructed. To ensure visual impacts are reduced, Trina is continuing with neighbour consultations to ensure acceptable vegetation buffers are designed and incorporated into the concept design for the project.
Minimising land disturbance and vegetation clearing have been adopted as key principals of the project’s design. Any areas of high conservation, as well as riparian corridors on the site will be avoided during both construction and operations. It is important to note that much of the site is cleared agricultural land that has been substantially cultivated. Potential for high value biodiversity species and habitats to be present at the site is low.
Risks to waterways
A suite of measures will be included in Environmental Management Plans for all stages of the solar farm’s life cycle, to avoid any impact to surface water quality.
Trina will work closely with local emergency services to properly assess bushfire risks and management strategies. Mitigation measures at the solar farm site will be included in planning controls.
Heat Island Effect
Because of the generous spacing between rows of PV panels it is unlikely there will be any heat island effect beyond the perimeter fencing of the solar farm or impact to neighbouring properties.
Operating solar farms produce virtually no noise – with any noise at the site likely to be inaudible from outside the boundaries of the solar farm.
The cultural and archaeological significance of the Site has been assessed and determined to be of insufficient significance to warrant the implementation of strategies for the avoidance or mitigation of harm to important Aboriginal cultural areas, objects or places.
Design of the project is being undertaken to avoid impacts to biodiversity and other natural values as much as practicable. Where impacts cannot be avoided, they will be mitigated using best practice adaptive management strategies. In some cases, impacts may not be practical to avoid or mitigate, and therefore an offset may be required in accordance with NSW and Commonwealth legislation. We are investigating opportunities to establish such agreements in the region. If you are a landowner interested in establishing an offset or stewardship site, or you believe you have credits which may be suitable for this development, please contact us to find out more.