Planning

Glenellen Solar Farm is a State Significant Development

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIS) has been prepared to support Trina Solar’s Development Application to construct and operate the solar farm.  Based on extensive scientific and technical studies, this EIS considers potential impacts the solar farm may have on both the site and the surrounding landscape and proposes mitigation or avoidance measures to limit these impacts.

Public feedback on the EIS was invited in 2020.  A ‘Response to Submissions’ report is now being prepared to provide further information – and amended plans – to meet the needs and expectations of public and stakeholders.

Planning considerations

Neighbour amenity

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.

Neighbour impacts have also been considered when designing the transport route, and in planning mitigation measures to manage the temporary impacts of construction.

Native vegetation

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.

Bushfire

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.

Noise

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.

Cultural Heritage

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.

Environmental Offsets

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.

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