The Birriwa Solar Farm and Battery project is a 600-megawatt solar farm and battery energy storage project. It is proposed for development across a preliminary area of 1,200 hectares of mostly cleared grazing land, about 20km southwest of Dunedoo, located within the New South Wales Government’s Central West Orana Renewable Energy Zone.
It is estimated the project would generate enough energy to power about 240,000 homes in New South Wales, with a life span of around 30 years. At the end of its life, the solar farm and battery equipment can be safely removed and the land returned to its original farming use.
It is anticipated construction of the Birriwa Solar Farm and Battery project would take about two years, employing over 400 people during construction and generating a number of ongoing full time roles during operations. We will also seek to enhance opportunities for local and regional business participation through goods and services associated with the project.
Assessment and approvals
The Birriwa Solar Farm and Battery project will be assessed as a State Significant Development under Part 4 of the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) is the state planning authority for the project.
Under this process, a Scoping Report has been prepared including a preliminary environmental and social assessment. DPIE have issued project specific assessment requirements that we will include in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This comprehensive set of reports will include environmental, social and technical surveys, and will outline consultation carried out with traditional owners and communities. The outcome of this consultation and assessment will inform the final plans for the proposed development.
The site has been selected due to its ideal features – mostly flat or gently undulating land relatively free of vegetation due to historical clearing for agriculture.
It is also ideally situated away from towns but is still readily accessible by road. The project site is located in the NSW Government's Central West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) and will be able to connect to the national electricity grid via a transmission line currently being developed by the NSW Government as part of the REZ infrastructure program.
Understanding your views
UPC\AC Renewables Australia will work with local communities during the assessment and planning process to help us understand the benefits and impacts. We will be listening to community and stakeholder views of the project to help us understand any changes that can be considered to improve it. We want the project to be a valued and long term part of the local community for many years to come.
We place a large emphasis on face-to-face engagement and will seek to meet with members of the community in person as much as is possible. Where COVID-19 government mandated restrictions or management controls limit us in doing this, we will look to provide on-line virtual opportunities to engage. Register your interest to receive updates on the project.