Community feedback is being sought for a proposed solar farm just outside Armidale.
Oxley Solar Farm is planned to be located about 12 kilometres south east of Armidale in the Metz area near the intersection of Gara and Silverton Roads.
The development is planning to produce around 300MW of energy, enough to meet the needs of approximately 108,000 average hopes and displace approximately 533,000 tons of carbon.
It is also expected to generate economic benefits for the local economy as local businesses provide accommodation, food, fuel, trade equipment and services.
This State Significant Development (SSD) is expected to create about 350 jobs during construction with around five full-time employees once operational.
General Manager of Oxley Solar Development (OSD) Bruce Howard said the company encourages open communication with all stakeholders.
OSD has appointed an independent community engagement team to support a range of engagement activities during preparation of the project's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
"We are increasing our community engagement activities to help ensure the Armidale community has all the information it needs about the proposed development, to assist in providing informed feedback," Mr Howard said.
The engagement includes a communication information session in Armidale next week.
The session will be held on Thursday, August 6 from 12pm to 7pm at the Jacaranda Room in Hughes House and will be hosted in accordance with NSW governemtn COVID-19 regulations and requirements.
The project has been the subject of extensive research and planning and was issued the Secretary's Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) in August 2019.
A number of studies including biodiversity, noise, visual amenity, transport and heritage, are currently underway to form part of the EIS. Once the EIS is reviewed by the DPIE the community will be given further opportunity to review and make submissions.
"Effective and transparent community engagement is important to ensure we can deliver a good outcome for everyone," Mr Howard said.
Construction on the solar farm is proposed to start in late 2021 and be completed during 2023, subject to the appropriate approvals.
For more information about State Significant Developments, visit https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/major-projects/project/14201.