New South Wales Proposed Solar Farm
New South Wales, Australia
The proposed solar farm is located on a 560-hectare site located in New South Wales. While most of the site consisted of cleared agricultural land with minimal biodiversity value, there were several patches of native vegetation within the proposed development footprint. As part of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), SLR prepared a specialist Biodiversity Development Assessment Report (BDAR), Water Assessment report, Acoustics Impact Statement and Bushfire Assessment.
The BDAR provided an assessment of the biodiversity values and the likely biodiversity impacts of the proposed development, in accordance with the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and the Biodiversity Assessment Method (BAM). The report identified the key physical features of the site, including soil types, slopes, plant species and vegetation communities, ecological communities and the presence of fauna species within the site. The BDAR data informed the final site layout of the development in order to avoid areas of high biodiversity value. The report also provided mitigation measures to be implemented during construction, operation and decommissioning phases in order to protect the biodiversity value of the site.
SLR provided high level advice on development constraints and biodiversity offsets, working closely with the client to design the panel array in such a way to avoid or minimise impacts on high value vegetation and habitat.
SLR also assisted with a ‘Referral’ of the project under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Our inputs on the panel layout design and impact avoidance measures during the early stages of the project were integral in the Commonwealth’s decision that the project was not a ‘controlled action’ and did not require approval from the Commonwealth Environment Minister