Working with the community
The Stubbo Solar Farm project is expected to create up to 400 jobs during a two -year construction period. It is also expected to generate up to 10 ongoing jobs over the operational life of the project.
The project will be designed to allow sheep grazing alongside renewable energy generation, helping to drought proof local farming operations and grow the local and regional economy. It will help diversify income to local landholders as well as local businesses and suppliers, which is particularly important to the health of local economies and communities when a lack of rainfall impacts their operations.
We will be listening to the community’s views of the project to help us understand any changes that may be required to improve it. We want the project to be a valued and long term part of the local commuity for many years to come.
UPC\AC Renewables Australia acknowledges the Warrabinga-Wiradjuri people as the traditional owners of the land on which the project is proposed. We will be working closely with their representatives to ensure any items or sites of cultural significance are identified and protected.
Supporting the local community
Wherever possible workers and businesses from the local and regional area will be prioritised for employment and contracting opportunities with the project to help maximise the benefits for local communities.
This could include panel installation, and civil work in areas such as fencing installation, internal access track construction, site office establishment and other works such as plumbing and vegetation control.
A significant portion of the income earned by workers during construction will be spent in the region, helping to boost household incomes, indirect employment and the local economy. This effect will continue over the life of the solar farm from activities related to operations and maintenance.
Solar and wind generation have recently been identified by energy agencies and Local, State and Federal Governments as potential new industries for the region, helping to power the country, grow rural communities and provide new jobs and economic development.
The NSW Government is rapidly moving ahead with significant funding to support this new industry for the region, as part of its NSW Electricity Strategy to maintain reliability, reduce costs and cut carbon emissions.
As the Stubbo Solar Farm progresses, information sessions will be held for local businesses and residents to find out more about these opportunities.
Understanding your views
We will be working closely with the host landowners, their neighbours and the wider community to help us gain a detailed understanding of the community’s views, issues and feedback on the project.
This includes the local council, their elected representatives, Members of Parliament and State and Federal Government agencies. We will also be discussing the project with representatives of the traditional indigenous owners of the land the Warrabinga-Wiradjuri people to help us understand, manage and protect any cultural heritage areas or items of significance across the project site.
We place a large emphasis wherever possible on face-to-face communication via one-on-one meetings and community information drop-in sessions. However, advice from health officials about minimising the potential spread and impact of the coronavirus means we will have to revise our methods of engagement and communication in the short to medium term to include more online activity, direct mail or newsletter communications.
We have submitted a scoping report for the project to the Department of Planning Industry and Environment that includes an early outline of our proposed engagement. We will look to continually improve and grow our engagement methods as we learn more from the local community.
Community benefit sharing program
As the project is developed, we will ask members of the local community to work with us to help build a Community Benefit Sharing program to support local projects and initiatives.
We will provide ongoing financial assistance for the program to ensure that there is a direct benefit from the solar farm to the local community.
This could include support for local schools, training or education as well as grants or project support for local community or sporting groups. We have developed a similar program for our New England Solar Farm.
Click here for more information on renewable energy community benefit sharing programs.
Community partnerships and sponsorships
Throughout the development process, we will explore opportunities to support local events and sporting, community or recreational organisations via a range of community partnerships and sponsorships.