Skip to main content

State Significant Development

Determination

Walla Walla Solar Farm

Greater Hume Shire

Current Status: Determination

Interact with the stages for their names

  1. SEARs
  2. Prepare EIS
  3. Exhibition
  4. Collate Submissions
  5. Response to Submissions
  6. Assessment
  7. Recommendation
  8. Determination

Development of a 300 MW solar farm and associated infrastructure.

Consolidated Consent

Consolidated Consent

Modifications

Archive

Request for SEARs (1)

Scoping Report

SEARs (1)

SEARs

EIS (12)

EIS
Appendix A - SEARS
Appendix B.1 - Consultation
Appendix D - Proposed Maps and Drawings
Appendix E - Landscape Plan
Appendix F - Traffic Impact Assessment
Appendix G - Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment
Appendix H - Biodiversity Development Assessment Report
Appendix J - Flood Study
Appendix K - Visual Impact Assessment
Appendix M - FM Act Habitat Assessment
Appendix N - Soil Assessment

Response to Submissions (2)

Submissions Report
Request Submissions Report

Agency Advice (19)

Greater Hume Council - Objection to Project
Greater Hume Council - Advice on RtS
DPIE - BCD - Advice on EIS
DPIE - BCD - Advice on RTS
DPIE - BCD - Advice on additional information
DPIE Water - Advice on EIS
DPIE Water - Advice on RTS
TfNSW - Advice on EIS
TfNSW - Advice on RTS
FRNSW - Advise on EIS
FRNSW - Advice on RTS
DRG - Advice on EIS
DRG - Advice on RTS
RFS - Advice on RTS
Heritage Council - Advice on EIS
EPA - Advice on EIS
Transgrid - Advice on EIS
Crown Lands - Advice on EIS
DPI Agriculture - Advice on EIS

Amendments (4)

Amendment Report
Appendix A - Amended BDAR
Appendix B - Amended Landscaping Plan
Appendix F - Amended Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment

Additional Information (5)

Additional Information 27/4/2020
Additional Information - 11/09/2020
Amended BDAR - 26/5/2020
Additional Information - Biodiversity 26/5/2020
Additional Information - Project Amendment 26/05/2020

Recommendation (3)

IPC Referral Letter
Assessment Report
Recommended Conditions of Consent

Determination (3)

Statement of Reasons
Media Release
Development Consent

Post-determination Notices (1)

Notice of determination

Approved Documents

Management Plans and Strategies (4)

Approval of Plan Strategy or Study_23052022_051014
WWSF SMS v1
Landscape Plan
Approval of Landscape Plan

Note: Only documents approved by the Department after November 2019 will be published above. Any documents approved before this time can be viewed on the Applicant's website.

Complaints

Want to lodge a compliance complaint about this project?

Make a Complaint

Enforcements

There are no enforcements for this project.

Inspections

There are no inspections for this project.

Note: Only enforcements and inspections undertaken by the Department from March 2020 will be shown above.

Submissions

Filters
Showing 1 - 20 of 162 submissions
ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AUTHORITY
Comment
,
Message
I refer to the planning referral received by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) via the Major Projects Planning Portal on 25 October 2019 requesting our comments on the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Walla Walla Solar Farm.
The EPA has responsibilities for pollution control and environmental management for scheduled activities under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997. Based on the information provided the proposed development is not a scheduled activity under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 and the Walla Walla solar farm will not require an Environment Protection Licence. Under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 Greater Hume Shire Council will be the Appropriate Regulatory Authority for pollution control and environmental management issues for this proposal should it be approved.
On this basis the EPA has no further comments to make in relation to this proposal and requires no further consultation in relation to this matter.
If you have any further enquiries about this matter please contact Darren Wallett by telephoning 02 6969 0700.
Name Withheld
Object
GEROGERY , New South Wales
Message
1 don't want solar panels on good food producing land,as in this 100yr, drought this area has been the only land producing food as in crops and meat,
2 Devaluation of land re-selling as no one wants these to be an eye sore.
3 I believe when the life of these panels is up these will stell supports in the ground ,making cutting of the land impossible for crops and regeneration of pastures for Hay making or freddibf stock
4 the extra heat, that of at least 2° radiating off these panels will be detemental to young crops growing on the boundaries
5 because we have heavy fogs in the winter the efficacy of the panels will be reduced over the 3 months of winter
6 destruction of trees that have been in some cases there for over 100 years, and are habbiat to native birds and squirrel girders, frogs are also in this area
There is okentybof arrow land in our country where these Solar panels can be put and leave our good agricultural land to do what it does best that is producing food for all Australian
Name Withheld
Object
walla walla , New South Wales
Message
Adverse Environmental Affects
Dust
Noise
Glare
Loss of Flora and Fauna habitat
Adverse Social Affects
Loss of cultural heritage sites
Dividing the district and neighbourhood
Over 60 landholders immediately affected
Adverse Economic Affects
Loss of prime agricultural land
Loss of important agricultural land
Loss of agricultural production
Solar companies all foreign owned
Devaluing of prime agricultural land and lifetime investments
Jindera Township
Restricts future growth
Proposal doesn’t give adequate detail of the proximity to township
Changing climatic conditions for the township and surrounds
Bushfire Risk
Insurance issues
Traffic management
Work hours disturbing the tranquillity
Jennifer Parrett
Object
JINDERA , New South Wales
Message
I object to the Walla Walla Solar project on a number of levels. These are numbered below.
Firstly, I object to the nomenclature of the Walla Walla Solar project, as a farm, where in fact it is a major industrial plant. This is a plant, where there is multimillion dollar infrastructure, major changes to the community, and long term impact to the community. In calling it a farm, there has been a lack of due diligence in the planning of this project. If this was considered a major industrial enterprise, there would be far more planning, consultation, and research into the contracted companies. The companies involved have little information on their financial success, which is important, as if these companies fold, there is uncertainty as to the future of the infrastructure on our community. The planning is rushed. In undertaking research about this area, I have discovered that this area was graded in the 1980s drought as occasionally arable land, which if due diligence was being undertaken, would be reviewed, as this is very reliable land for agricultural production. The timing of this is extremely difficult for farmers in this area, as in the midst of a statewide drought this area is producing hay, stock and grain, and they have a huge workload and stress in considering responses to this project.
Secondly, I object to the installation of these plants in an area that, unlike many other areas of the state, is not being residualised in population and demographic as other rural areas of NSW. As a resident and taxpayer in NSW, I am concerned that this area of the state is enjoying a growth in young families and diverse enterprise, as well as being a traditional hub for German culture in NSW. The size of the plants compromise Walla Walla, one of the only towns in the Riverina that is growing. The impact on the infringement of the community needs careful, thorough and diligent consideration, and the long term future of the community needs to be factored into this project development. In a time where there are so many communities suffering from residualisation, due to drought and the Murray Darling Basin Plan impact, there are areas in the state that could much better support the development of such a large industrial plant. I understand that this is due to the location of the plants to the existing grid, but this again is a rushed decision – a new grid west of this area could much better support alternate townships, an injection of much needed infrastructure in residualised areas of the state.
Thirdly, I object to the installation of the Walla Walla Solar Plant on prime agricultural land. In the midst of a drought, this area is producing hay, stock and grain, with large numbers of neighbouring farming enterprises affected in proximity of the plants. I object to the removal of high numbers of old trees, creating salinity issues in an area that has never experienced them. I object to the removal of farmland with historical significance, and there is much conjecture over the change in microclimate. I have seen the huge number of weeds under the recently opened Finley plants, and all the information regarding grazing opportunities are negated to me by what I have seen. In all of this, as a resident of the Jindera area, and understanding what may transpire in our local area, there are concerns about fire hazards, and even the insurance prospect of residents nearby has not been thought about. Farms neighbouring the plants may not be able to insure their properties, and so one neighbour will profit, and one neighbour will not be able to conduct business without major upgrade if obtainable public liability insurance. This, in a district with a number of small productive farms affects the long term health of a now-thriving community.
Ultimately, what I object to most is that in our state, we have always made haste slowly. There is a need to consider renewable energy opportunities, but to rush into such huge decisions, the considerations of location, local impact, productivity, community health, wildlife habitat and risk have not been taken into account in a thorough and timely manner.
Olivia Hanel
Object
JINDERA , New South Wales
Message
Please find attachment
Attachments
Karen Hanel
Object
JINDERA , New South Wales
Message
I object to this development please find attached my submission
Attachments
Division of Resources & Geoscience
Comment
MAITLAND , New South Wales
Message
Division of Resources & Geoscience advice attached.
Attachments
Name Withheld
Object
Culcairn ,
Message
Attachments
Rural Fire Service
Comment
SYDNEY OLYMPIC PARK , New South Wales
Message
Attachments
Name Withheld
Support
CULCAIRN , New South Wales
Message
I support this development. Suitable land use to address future proofing agricultural farming land.
Name Withheld
Support
CULCAIRN , New South Wales
Message
I support this development. It’s addressing future agricultural land use and environmental issues.
Bianca Schultz
Object
CULCAIRN , New South Wales
Message
My husband and I purchased the property “Karingal” Culcairn NSW 2660 (R1a and R1b) just three short years ago to expand our farming enterprise. We are third generation farmers of this area and we are raising our children, forth generation farmers, on this land. We brought this block of land to expand our business and also to provide ourselves with security in the form of a retirement block. We have had significate capital gain on the land in the three years which we feel we will lose if the proposed solar project gains approval. There are two residence on the property, one facing the proposed solar site and is just 78 meters from the front door. Even with the proposed mitigation of a “set-back” and a vegetation screen we do not feel it is fair that it is on our front door step. The landscape and environment is one of the key features and possible selling points for this property that will be taken away if the proposal gains approval. Renewable energy is a great step forward for this country but the proposed location is appalling. The land proposed for the Walla Walla Solar project is on highly productive farming land, we have in previous years share farmed a portion of this land and have had high yields achieved. Our country is in one of the biggest droughts on record with crops failing and livestock dying right across the country however this area is still producing not only great yields and maintaining livestock we are also producing hay that has been either donated or sold to help the struggling parts of Australia. This solar project will also remove a huge portion of income from the communities that surround the project.
Noise- We have two residents (R1a and R1b) that are currently occupied with both young children, disabled and elderly tenants who have expressed concerns over the noise level during construction. The noise level is indicated within the over 45db range. FRV Australia have offered no mitigation regarding the construction of the solar project in relation to the noise concern.
Dust- FRV Australia have indicated that they have moved the access point to the East of the project on Benambra Road to alleviate the concern of increased traffic travelling past the residents on Benambra Road however they have not taken into consideration the increased amount of dust from the construction vehicles travelling through the paddocks that will create more dust than travelling on Benambra Road. Also the increase in traffic from the general public who will be visiting/travelling past the site to inspect the progress of the project, which FVR are encouraging.
Rental loss- With the increase in dust and noise from the proposed construction of the project the current tenants have expressed concerns and have mentioned the possibility of terminating their lease. This is a large concern for us as the rental income helps pay the interest and principle payments on the mortgage for this property.
Visual impact- The visual impact of this project is a large concern for us as the proposal offers “set-backs” of 100 meters however within the “set-back” zone the company are offering a vegetation screening that is predicted to 5-8 years before being established. The panel structure is 4.5 meters high this will be seen during this time directly in front of a residence with no concern for the tenants occupying this house. We choose to live in a rural setting to appreciate the unscathed landscape, the serenity and the views to have to taken away by a large industrial-type grey-scale solar project for the life of the project, 30 years with the possibility of longer.
Devaluation of land- My husband and I purchased this land 3 years ago with plans to possibly build a house on this land that over looks all of the proposed project for both Walla Walla and Culcairn. This land is in separate titles that we have the option of selling off individually as “rural-lifestyle” blocks of land for large amounts of money if required financially however the option will be taken away from us as people will not have the scenic views that is attractive to buyers with 300 megawatt, 605 hectare solar project on their front door step.

Please consider the directly impacted neighbours and what this project will do to our communities. Leave the rural/agricultural land for the production of your food not for energy production.
Anne Feuerherdt
Object
CULCAIRN , New South Wales
Message
I object to this development in the place it has been proposed, because of land devaluation, loss of valuable agricultural land, conflict within the community, a change to the climate of the area which will effect our ability to produce food for the country. We, as farmers, have struggled for long enough and can take no more.
The community is no longer the way it was, our lives have already been changed for the worse.
The period of construction will be a nightmare for us all, a dust bowl will be created, noise will be drastically increased.
It will be potentially detrimental to local workforce and tourist opportunities, I am unconvinced that any local workers will benefit from this project.
Generally, consultation has been very disappointing, "ticking of boxes" instead of genuine listening to concerns.
Our area has produced hay and crops in this time of drought, without the benefit of any irrigation - we are a valuable agricultural area.
I am also disappointed in the lack of respect for OUR heritage (not just Aboriginal heritage), my ancestors went through many hardships to arrive at this land and then work it.
This is the tackling of a problem (renewable energy shortage) at the expense & creation of another ( inability to feed the country).
Solar Energy is valuable, BUT THIS IS IN THE WRONG PLACE!!!
Our lifelong aspirations will change, because of land devaluation & a decrease in revenue, we will no longer be able to support ourselves in retirement & will therefore be a further burden on the country as a whole.
Desmond Feuerherdt
Object
CULCAIRN , New South Wales
Message
I have farmed this land for over 50 years and have made a living from it - it is valuable agricultural land with reliable rainfall, not the place for "Solar Farms"
I am opposed to the destruction of big trees which could be hundreds of years old as well as wildlife, including the white-browed warbler and the Diamond Firetail Finch, Sugar Gliders and numerous parrot varieties. Proposed tree plantings will not produce hollow trees for birds to nest in for hundreds of years.
I am also very disappointed that people can come into our community and divide it, lifelong friends have been pushed apart.
Over the years we have produced beef cattle, wool sheep, fat lambs, reliable wheat crops, lupins and canola.
Where is the food for our nation coming from if good agricultural land is sacrificed for renewable energy projects?
We currently employ 2 workers, who we will struggle to retain if this goes ahead. Farming will be next to impossible next to a Solar Farm as the temperature will potentially rise by multiple degrees.
Sarah Craske
Support
STANMORE , New South Wales
Message
I came across details of this project as I am interested in renewable energy as a solution to the disastrous affects of continuing to use fossil fuels has on the climate. Having previously lived on solar powered property in northern NSW I feel that though individual adopters of solar energy is a way forward, it is not going to make the big difference that projects such in scaling up the supply to so many.
HERITAGE COUNCIL OF NSW
Comment
,
Message
Please see attached
Attachments
Crown Lands
Comment
Newcastle , New South Wales
Message
There is a Crown Public road located between Lot 108 & Lot 109 DP 753735 and Lot 78 DP 753735, that has an Enclosure Permit to the adjoining land holder.

Should the road be required for access to the proposal area, the road should either be closed and purchased by the proponent or transferred to Council. Consultation should also occur with the adjoining landholder if the enclosure permit is impacted.
ROADS AND MARITIME SERVICES DIVISION
Support
,
Message
RMS support the development subject to conditions as per attachment
Attachments
Paul Lowe
Object
CULCAIRN , New South Wales
Message
I Object to the proposed Walla Walla solar farm development on many levels.
I strongly object to the use of highly productive agricultural land for the purpose of solar development. At a time of severe drought throughout eastern Australia, this small area of the Eastern Riverina is one of the only areas in NSW which is actually producing grain and fodder to support those areas in severe drought. Surely such reliable, productive agricultural land needs to be protected from large scale industrial development in the interest of national food security.
The foreign owned solar companies claim sheep will be able to be successfully grazed beneath the soar panels and refer to a 6 week trial as being proof of this. I however, as a 4th generational farmer and grazier question the management ability to maintain a productive pasture over a prolonged 30 year period of the proposed development. I believe it will not be possible to fertilize or spray weeds effectively within the development to maintain the pasture to a productive level, which will eventually lead the development to be over run with woody weeds. This will not only become unproductive for sheep grazing but also a seed bank of weeds posing a problem for neighbouring properties.
Fire risk within the development will be a serious problem in the future as the weeds build up, especially after summer rain when hairy panic weed will be impossible to manage,as it is toxic to sheep. Hairy panic will be unable to be managed through grazing . While broadacre spraying will be impossible amongst the solar panels. This posses an unacceptable fire and weed risk to neighbours and the surrounding district.
I'm concerned about the affect the development will have on the ecology within the solar farm. The removal of extensive remnant vegetation and of over 50 scattered mature trees will have a negative effect on native wildlife and biodiversity within the development. It will also adversely effect wildlife corridors, which will be exacerbated by the 2.5 metre high chain wire fence surrounding the development.
I am highly concerned about the dust which will be generated during the construction phase of the development and the effect it will have on the surrounding properties. The enormous amount of traffic which will be needed during construction will coat neighbouring properties in dust, having a huge impact on growth of plants and therefore production.
The high level of traffic will also be dangerous on the small country roads leading to the sight especially when school buses use these roads as do neighbouring farmers to move machinery to access properties.
As a neighbour to the Walla solar farm I'm very concerned about the heat bank effect which will effect our property and subsequent production risk it will impose on our enterprise. 600 hectares of land with glass panels on it must generate on enormous amount of heat which will blow onto our property. Upon researching the heat bank effect the only studies I can find have been conducted on a 2 hectare site. A far different scenario to 600 hectares. There should be a lot more studies into this and the effect it has on surrounding land before approval is given effecting prime agricultural enterprises.
The Greater Hume Shire has 4 proposed solar farm developments at the moment totaling 2630 hectares of prime agricultural land of which the Walla solar farm is one. NSW has limited high quality, highly productive farming land ,however an abundance on highly suitable land not capable of producing valuable agricultural commodities. I firmly believe there are much more suitable areas to establish solar developments it just takes government regulators with the foresight to build infrastructure and utilise more suitable land.
MALCOLM EDGAR
Support
AVALON BEACH , New South Wales
Message
I thinks projects like these are incredibly important for NSW and globally. Reasons why I think this project is important include:

Point 1.

Reduce the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere from coal fired power station. Currently global temperatures have increased 1 degree and we are already seeing severe impacts including: catastrophic bush fires, more energetic storms, coastal erosion, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, perraforst thawing, glacial, Arctic and Antartic melting, sea level rises, ecosystem disruptions, agricultural land loss, etc. Current atmospheric CO2 concentration will increase global temperatures by more than 2 degrees which will have exponentially larger environmental, economic and social impacts than what we are currently experiencing. A business as usual approach will lead to 3-4 degrees global warming by the end of this century. At these temperatures the global economy as we know it will probably collapse, under the weight of the catastrophic changes, significant portions of the world will be uninhabitable with the wet bulb temperature above 35 degrees celcius, sea level is expected to rise by 1 meter, and several meters in the following century. Global bio-diversity will collapse with countless species being lost.

Point 2.
Solar power generation has a lower levelized cost than coal, and will have a near zero marginal cost over the lifetime of the solar. Much lower power costs will open up new industry opportunities for NSW with high energy inputs and will be competitive at a global scale. These industry opportunities include hydrogen generation and 'green' metals.

Point 3.
Increased jobs in regional NSW with the initial construction of these facilities and then the on-goning maintenance of this solar farm.

Pagination

Project Details

Application Number
SSD-9874
Assessment Type
State Significant Development
Development Type
Electricity Generation - Solar
Local Government Areas
Greater Hume Shire
Decision
Approved
Determination Date
Decider
IPC-N
Last Modified By
SSD-9874-Mod-1
Last Modified On
03/03/2022

Contact Planner

Name
Tatsiana Bandaruk