RPS consultants have supported renewable energy company ESCO Pacific to deliver a new 170 MW solar farm in regional New South Wales.
As Australia transitions to a more diversified, cleaner energy mix, renewable energy providers are developing solar farms in areas that possess the right solar index conditions. With a high number of sunny days each year and a naturally flat topography, an area close to the township of Finley in the NSW Riverina was identified as an ideal spot for solar energy harvesting.
As the capital investment value was greater than $30 million, the project was deemed a State Significant Development (SSD) and was assessed and determined by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry, and Environment.
RPS was engaged by ESCO Pacific to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed development, including specialist assessments. Our team undertook all planning aspects for the EIS, assessments for heritage, ecology, visual, groundwater and surface water impacts, while managing the team of sub-consultants who provided inputs for traffic and noise.
With many years of experience leading projects and their proponents through complex approval pathways, our team was able to support ESCO Pacific to navigate through their first SSD project in NSW and achieve project approval. Our consultants also contributed to community and stakeholder consultation activities that would help build social licence and support for the project. With short lead times, RPS delivered a successful EIS and assisted ESCO Pacific to obtain approval to construct.
Now complete, Finley Solar Farm is helping to power up to 60,000 homes with clean renewable energy while offsetting approximately 300,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year.
ESCO Pacific has also secured Australia’s largest ever corporate solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with BlueScope Steel to purchase 66% of the electricity produced at Finley Solar Farm.
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