STRICT guidelines for the mammoth Oven Mountain Pumped Hydro Project near Armidale have been issued to proponents by the Department of Primary Industry and Environment (DPIE).
The 13-page document sets out everything that will need to be addressed in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) if Oven Mountain Pumped Storage (OMPS) wants to push the project over the line.
There's no deadline for submitting an EIS, a DPIE spokesman said, but it's not expecting the company to lodge one until early next year.
"The department can update the assessment requirements at any time to reflect changes to the project or applicable government policies," he said.
"Once received, the EIS will go on exhibition for community feedback and detailed assessment by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment before a final decision is made."
The project is expected to be completed in 2026 and should provide firming for one-eighth of the power generated in the state's largest renewable energy zone.
It will be located near Georges Junction, about 60km south-east of Armidale and 75km north-west of Kempsey.
The EIS will need to include a summary of the background of the project, including any alternatives that were considered along with a full description, maps and development stages.
Key features of the environment that could be impacted by the project, biodiversity, heritage, water, waste and more will need to be covered by OMPS.
OMPS director Anthony Melov previously told the Expressthe project would likely be the largest in the country outside of Tasmania's Battery of the Nation project and the Snowy Mountains 2.0 scheme.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: