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State Significant Development


Goulburn River Solar Farm

Upper Hunter Shire

Current Status: More Information Required

Interact with the stages for their names

  1. SEARs
  2. Prepare EIS
  3. Exhibition
  4. Collate Submissions
  5. Response to Submissions
  6. Assessment
  7. Recommendation
  8. Determination

Development of a 550 MW solar farm, energy storage and associated infrastructure.


This project is a controlled action under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and will be assessed under the bilateral agreement between the NSW and Commonwealth Governments, or an accredited assessment process. For more information, refer to the Australian Government's website.

Attachments & Resources

Notice of Exhibition (1)

Request for SEARs (1)

SEARs (2)

EIS (18)

Response to Submissions (2)

Agency Advice (12)

Amendments (8)

Additional Information (3)


Showing 1 - 20 of 69 submissions
Name Withheld
KOORINGAL , New South Wales
I object to Goulburn River Solar Electricity Generating Works & Battery Energy Storage System for the following reasons:-

*Caring for our healthy soil & water supplies responsibly is essential for our lives.
Good agricultural, pastoral land should not be covered in solar panels for decades to come, as this land is limited & must be prioritised for growing life sustaining food supplies.

*This Solar Works has the potential to contaminate the Solar site & surrounding land & water - flowing to the Goulburn River - especially when the solar panels degrade, if they are damaged by hail storms - which is common in this area, or if they are burnt in a fire event & as they age.

*Solar Electricity Generating Works are an increased fire risk & toxic smoke hazard - which has not even been researched yet by NSW Fire & Rescue.
It therefore, is completely inappropriate to locate this fire hazard in the close proximity of this precious area where it would pose a serious danger to the National Park & people.

*It is very important for the local community, that the liveability of the pretty area is enhanced for all residents & our visual amenity does not include ugly eyesores - such as this.

*There is nothing about Goulburn River Solar Electricity Generating Works that is helpful or beneficial to the environment, to the local community or to Australia at all. It is actually very damaging, so please do not ruin this area or Australia further with these ugly, contaminating, intrusive, industrialised Solar Electricity Generating Works & Big Toxic Battery burdens.
Claudette Woodhouse
TARCUTTA , New South Wales
I would like to make my objection to the above project known.
I have many objections to Solar Farms but the main being the use of excellent agricultural land being used by solar panel companies who know the power is intermittent and totally unreliable.
Thank you.
Stan Moore
GUNDARY , New South Wales
I object to the proposal on the grounds that the decommissioning and rehabilitation requirements on the developer and future owners to provide upfront financial commitment to conduct and complete the rehabilitation is not included or required.
I have read the EIS and I have real concerns about the decommissioning and rehabilitation of the site at the end of the life of the solar factory.
LightsourceBP say it could be in operation for 40 years. It is unlikely that LighjtsourceBP will still own this site. LightsourceBP are selling West Wyalong and Wellington. So if LightsourceBP were to sell Goulburn River then how does the decommissioning/rehabilitation undertaking by LightsourceBP pass to the new owner. There is nothing stopping the last owner of the site going bankrupt at the time of decommissioning, thus leaving a toxic mess to be cleaned up, probably by the NSW Government and taxpayers of NSW.
Perhaps the planning department should be requiring Rehabilitation Security Deposits, similar to the mining industry, to ensure there are funds available for rehabilitation.
Name Withheld
Dalby , Queensland
This gravy train to China, has to end, are you all going to be around to clean up the unreliable renewables in another 20 year's? I don't think so!
It'll go down in history as the greatest environmental disaster in this country.
No thank you.
Name Withheld
Lake Albert , New South Wales
 * TWO NEW PRECEDENTS HAVE BEEN SET by Oxley Bridge Rd Uranquinty NSW Solar Determination 24th Nov 2022:-!20221124T045856.774%20GMT
(*Including Audio of Professor Ian Plimer’s Presentation on Solar Contamination.)

1. NEW MODERN SLAVERY CONDITION- requiring proof prior to construction that NO Slave Labour supply chain components be used in construction.
**New Condition Inserted C4A - Dealing With Modern Slavery.
Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act 2018

*NSW Local Council Act 1993
428 Annual Report
438 ZE Duty to Ensure Goods & Services Are Not Procured From Modern Slavery.

This applies to all NSW Government Bodies - including Council Hosts, to those Procuring & those who have a Power Purchase Agreement with Solar/Wind Energy generation + BESS whose construction has used Modern Slavery Supply Chain Sourced Components.


**Amended Condition C8.
Prior to Commencement of Any Works - Storm Water Management Plan.
On Site & Discharge From the Site.
Testing Points & Regular Water Samples, Suitably Qualified Person.
Response Procedures if CONTAMINATION is Found.
Availability of Results.

This Amended Condition in response to Professor Ian Plimer’s expert presentation to the Planning Panel regarding Solar Contamination must now be included for assessment of Solar/Wind Electricity Generating Works & BESS - so no construction can begin until the components are proven - prior to construction - to have no Modern Slavery links - under the advice of the NSW Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

Sediment Run-Off Contaminating Land/Water - Court Case -
“Created, Operated, and Maintained a Nuisance”

Solar farm runoff pollutes property, couple awarded $135 million - CFACT

By Bonner Cohen, Ph. D. |June 6th, 2023


From 6th June 2022 - The Typically Careless & Irresponsible Construction of Industrialised Solar Electricity Generating Works has Caused Extensive Water Run-Off & Erosion Damage for the Solar Host & Distressed Neighbour at Bomen, Wagga Wagga - Killing his Crops & Making his Property Inaccessible for 6 Months!
More Than a Year Later, Nobody has Taken Responsibility & Nothing has Been Done to Fix This!
Given These Concerns Were Repeatedly Raised by Objectors, YET the Practical Reality of this Dodgy Approval was Totally Ignored by Fudged Modelling & False Claims of Mitigation by the Developer & Approving Bodies - This Inevitable Ruination is a Typical Example of the Plethora of Litigation to Come From the Totally Disingenuous, Fake Green RenewaBULL Nightmare!

Please add the separately emailed Photos & Videos to this Reference.
Name Withheld
Lake Albert , New South Wales
**Public Health & Safety Risks - Personal Discomfort & Health Impacts from Electrical Force/ EMR & Deprivation or Contamination of Life Sustaining Food Resource Land, Food Supplies & Water Supplies.
**Unplanned for, Not Even Researched & Not Appropriately Assessed, Toxic Carcinogenic & Teratogenic Fire/Smoke Hazard Risks.
**Energy Deprivation - Lack of Reliable, Affordable Electricity - Resulting from Inferior, Unreliable Solar/Wind Generation causing Austerity, Suffering, ill Health & Loss of Basic Services.
**Consequential Skyrocketing Electricity Prices - Causing Unnecessary Cruelty & Hardship, Cost of Living Crisis & Potential Death from Hyperthermia.
**Unjust Mistreatment of Landholders & Rural Communities Forced to Endure Such Detrimental Plans - Causing Extreme Distress, Anxiety, Depression, Grief, Family/Social Fracturing & Loss.
**Deprivation of Rural Outlook & Quality of Life - With Unhealthy, Distressing Noise, Infrasound & Visual Pollution.
**Emotional Distress, Anxiety & Fear Caused by Government Inflicted Skyrocketing Energy/Cost of Living Crisis.
**Detrimental Consequences of increased SF6 emissions.
**Increased Economic Hardship due to Failure of Councils to do their Due Diligence, to Address Compliance, to be Transparent & to be Honest, to Address the Facts & Community Concerns, ie. Additional Council charges for Flawed Assessments & Wrong Approvals - Leading to Unplanned for Clean up & Remediation Costs for Abandoned, Derelict, Contaminating Solar/Wind EG Works & BESS.
**Any Detrimental Cost Implications for Ratepayers from the Council's & any NSW/Federal Government Body’s Persistence in Ignoring Their Duties Regarding the Unethical Hosting, Procurement & Power Purchase Agreements With Energy Generation Reliant on Unethical Slave Labour Supply Chains.
**Loss of Productivity & Income Due to Contamination, Increased Fire Risk & Heat Island Impacts from Solar/Wind EG Works & BESS.
**Any Cyber Security Breaches or National Security Threats & Harm Caused.
**Any Costs Incurred for Ratepayers & Taxpayers by Dealing With the Obvious, Economic Suicide - the Financial Consequences for the Future of Making Seriously Retrograde Decisions by Hosting & Approving Such Harmful Solar/Wind EG Works, BESS & Associated Unnecessary
Transmission Infrastructure.

Solar/Wind utilities cannot be maximised simutaneously & should never be interfering with our once reliable & efficient electricity grid.
Any Power Generation Source That Can’t Deliver Electricity On Demand is Pointless!
Hideous ecosystem-wrecking industrial Solar/Wind EG Works, BESS, associated infrastructure & invasive, unnecessary multiplication of Transmission Lines for such a costly, contaminating & wasteful form of electricity generation is illogical lunacy!

Just like Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek’s claims that increased renewables mean “CHEAPER, CLEANER ENERGY, LOWER POWER BILLS & LOWER POLLUTION” (SMH 10th April 2023,) these empty promises are totally false!

The demand for ‘green’ power hurts the environment - with an appallingly huge environmental footprint, only rendered worse by their ineffectiveness at meeting basic power needs.
Inferior, intermittent, Fake Green renewaBULL energy disturbs our independent way of life, denies us modern conveniences, affects our security, economic prosperity, our health & wellbeing & destroys Intergenerational equity for future generations

Solar Electricity Generating Works’ Plans & Irresponsible Approvals Have Neglected to Accurately Address All of the Following:-
**Food Security + Australian Energy Security = National Security
**Australian Independent Energy = Coal, Gas & a clean, safe, Nuclear SMR Power future.
**Which companies involved & all of their Solar/Wind/BESS connections are subject to the CCP’s National Intelligence Law?
**Public Health & Safety Risks - Electric Force & Electromagnetic Radiation, Soil/Food/Water Contamination, Energy Deprivation.
**Proper Research Needed - No Scientific Rigour.
** Engineering Facts Have Been Ignored.
**Connecting Subsidised, Mandated Weather Dependent - Intermittent Solar/Wind to the Grid is the Worst Policy Failure in History.
**Fake Green - Not Clean & Green or Sustainable at all - as the Full Lifecycle of Solar/Wind/BESS has to be accounted for.
At least 1,000% more Mining + intensive energy & toxic pollution during processing.
**Power Sources Needed in major City areas instead - avoiding long distance transmission loss, ruination of rural Australia & harming Agricultural productivity.
**Unconscionable scale of Industrialised Solar/Wind land mass required.
Michael Shellenberger says it's approx 300-800 times more land required for Solar/Wind than for far superior conventional power generation.
**Massive Toxic Waste Burden being intentionally created for future generations that will NEVER be economically viable to recycle - if ever even possible.
**Energy Security risks from inferior, unreliable, weather dependent, Dunkelflaute based Solar/Wind which will NEVER be base-load power available on demand.
**Economic Suicide - Skyrocketing Energy Prices = Cost of Living Crisis. The more Mandated, Subsidised Solar & Wind in the system = the Higher the Prices.
**National Security Risks - we need to rely on our own AUSTRALIAN Energy Sources rather than our Most Hostlie Enemy - the CCP.
**Fake Green Wokeness = Weakness
**Unethical Slave Labour Supply Chain Reliance - Solar’s cruelly tortured Xinjiang Uyghurs & Cobalt for Wind Turbines + Batteries reliant on shocking treatment of the Congolese - with Child Labour - children as young as 6 years old forced to mine toxic cobalt in the Congo with their bare hands!
**No Social Licence - Failed Consultation process by the GOVERNMENT, DEVELOPER, TRANSGRID, AEMO & AER/AEMC.
Name Withheld
Lake Albert , New South Wales
I absolutely Object to this outrageous, ECOCIDAL 550 MW Industrial Solar Electricity Generating Works - including an 800 hectare footprint of 950,000 TOXIC CLASSED, UNETHICAL - SLAVE LABOUR SUPPLY CHAIN BASED SOLAR PANELS that will inevitably leach numerous heavy metals including lead - during its operational life as the panels degrade, age, if inferior, broken, hail damaged, burnt, etc. - detrimentally harming this LIFE SUSTAINING, UNCONTAMINATED, LIMITED, IRREPLACEABLE & ESSENTIAL 2,000 hectare site & surrounding PRODUCTIVE RU1 AGRICULTURAL LAND & VITAL WATER SOURCES - including 90 hydrolines that flow into the GOULBURN. RIVER.


Lightsource bp have completely ignored the NSW Parliament Modern Slavery Act 2021, the New Modern Slavery Condition & the Amended Stormwater Management Plan Condition - set in response to Solar‘s Toxic Contamination (Oxley Bridge Rd Solar Uranquinty Determination Reference) & have not met the Governments proclaimed aims & objectives for their Bills & Emission Targets - as they have misrepresented Goulburn River Solar regarding their cheap, clean, sustainable, zero emissions claims - intentionally failing to include the short-term, fragile Solar panel + BESS life-span, the extensive - whole of life-cycle Solar/BESS emissions -> from mining quartz/cobalt
->the intensive embedded Coal energy for toxic polluting processing of the silicon & manufacturing ->leakage of the most potent GHG SF6 - which remains in the atmosphere for at least 1,000 years -> to the outrageously disgraceful, irresponsible, unplanned for large-scale creation of mass toxic electronic waste strewn EVERYWHERE - wrecking our children’s INTERGENERATIONAL EQUITY!

The responsible Ministers, policy makers & approving bodies who are intentionally ignoring the glaringly obvious policy failure of mandating subsidised intermittent - imaginary power, the genuine practical environmental reality, the Conflicts of Interest, the Scientific Determination, the Engineering Facts - whilst brewing/being complicit in implementing/unjustly forcing without Social Licence - their totally irrational, ideologically driven, ‘Garbage In Garbage’ Out Modelling Theory at the heart of this Fake Green, ECOCIDAL, Unreliable, Intermittent, Weather Dependent, Energy Depriving, Unethical-Slave Labour Based, CCP Reliant, RenewaBULL Grift & Ponzi Scheme/Scam would do well to note the recent ROBODEBT findings - outlining Openness, Honesty & Integrity as the core job of the Public Service in the Act.
That there are Consequences for not passing on information that they should & that there is an essential need for a Proper Record of Advice - instead of the typical Preference for Verbal Advice Only.
The cruelly torturous Consequences for rural victims of the RenewaBULL Nightmare are SO Extreme - People are VERY Distressed!

Australians deserve plentiful, reliable, efficient, independent, secure, Australian base-load HELE Coal Power & a clean, safe Nuclear Power future with minimal environmental impact to Protect Nature, to ensure Economic Prosperity - Food Security - Independent Energy Security & National Security - instead of Lightsource bp ENABLING BEIJING TO TURN OUR LIGHTS OFF!!
Name Withheld
GUYRA , New South Wales
What do you think you are Doing in Regent Honeyeater Habitat. It is Brink of Extinction. What are you doing in government to Protect Original Native Species, All Rare to Brink of Extinction under Big Dollar Money Talks Louder than Care to Brink of Extinction Species, is it ?

What Are you doing to Protect this species, a Brink of Extinction species called Regent Honeyeater, a Brink of Extinction species. Do you read that, or are you a Robot. Tell me. Please. Are you an Australian. Or are you a Robot. I do need to know. I need Fair Dinkum Aussies Upstanding for Country and All On Country.

I Observe a media release 4 days ago. It says this :

Solar Farm runoff pollutes property, couple awarded $135 million. By Bonner Cohen, PhD. June 6th 2023. Inflicting heavy fines on developers of a project billed as supplying clean , renewable energy, a federal jury has awarded a couple in southwest Georgia $135.5 million after runoff from Lumpkin Solar severely polluted waters and soils on their rural property. I do need a comment on this one because it's happening wherever Solar Farms are. Get EPA to test Waterways near Solar Farms, Before, During, and After construction of Solar Farms that are NOT NEEDED At All On Country upon Earth. And that is Correct.

Ban Wind Farms and Solar Farms and get the Australian Government into an Investigation called a Royal Commission into Renewables and Transmission Lines that Impact Environment.

Do you really want our Food Bowl contaminated? I don't.

I need Wildlife with Rights Immediately. Make it Legislation Immediately to Save 57 Endangered Species from Renewables ideas into On Country areas that are named a Dry Continent, a Dry Continent, a Dry Continent, a Dry Continent, under Threat from Renewables Now, already. Yes they are. I Research Human Impact to Vital Upper Tributary Catchments and Vital Upland Wetlands on the Top of the Range of the Drainage Divide of the Great Divide of the Northern Tablelands of the Eastern Seaboard of NSW, and I Need a Royal Commission into Renewables Immediately Immediately Immediately because the insidious nature of government in these times of Harm and Loss to Life on Earth by Humanity, is The Worst Ever by a government so Hideous it would allow a company access to a Brink of Extinction species Habitat. What do you think you are Doing , ah. How Dare You do this to this Brink of Extinction Bird , a Beautiful Honeyeater, under Threat now. How ? Well, Go and Walk Country and look at the view. Do it now. Go Outside and look at the view. What do you see. A property of glass. A property with Habitat on it. Which one . Well its obvious isn't it.

90 mapped hydrolines including 69 first order watercourses, 18 second order watercourses and three third order watercourses which eventually flow into the Goulburn River. God Help our Food Bowl If this project goes ahead, which it should not. Waterways need Protecting from Solar Farms. Enforce Legislation immediately to Protect Australian Waterways from Solar Farms, Proven to Pollute Wetlands, Lakes and Waterways.

I need a Royal Commission into Renewables Immediately. I need them Banned. Solar Farms can Go On Rooftops. Put them there, Not on Country, where Brink of Extinction species are noticed, as are Eucalypt Habitat these Birds Must Have available Forever.

I Do need a Royal Commission into Renewables and the Insidious Transmission Lines, that Must be Completely Banned Immediately. Immediately. Immediately.

Money Always Gets a Say. Change that to this :
Wildlife Always Get Rights over Renewables, Wind or Solar, Impacting Catchments Worldwide.

Are you a robot ? Virtual ? Real ? I do need to know. Virtual is Killing Life on Earth you see. I need it to Cease and Desist right now. Right now.

Care for Country
Care to the All
Ban Solar Farms
Once and For All.
Steven Broussos
GREENACRE , New South Wales
Let's build a town to serve this
Name Withheld
BENDEMEER , New South Wales
I am strongly against the continued building of these industrial sites on agricultural land. Where is our food going to be grown when prime agricultural land has been covered with these so called green energy infrastructure. These solar farms are indeed industrial sites with heavy machinery scaring the land, massive infrastructure, poles and wires, workers amenities, workers in high viz, buildings housing equipment and batteries etc.
This solar industrial site is being built near the Goulburn River National Park . There will be toxic run off and contamination from the panels and other infrastructure and roads.
This is a waste of tax payers money with the subsidies these companies receive .
Name Withheld
Waverton , New South Wales
"FARM" is such a nice smooth gentle word, reminiscent of Olde McDonald . . . and bringing forth images of fluffy white lambs gambolling around on a velvet field of luxuriant green.

"INDUSTRIAL" is what this is, huge great big heavy mechanical works thumping around disturbing the neighbourhood, full of oil. And self destructing in flames one in a thousand times per year, which for 100 over 20 years, is not merely 2 but as you remember multiple birthdays being quite likely in your school class, maybe occurring 6 or 7 times. And probably similarly likely to throw a blade or two.

There is considerable community push back to renewable projects. In the US over 360 wind farms and 106 solar farms have been rejected up to February 2023. Source The US communities do not want them, and nor do the Australian communities.

I object to paying subsidies. If it is so good, let it stand on its own merits. I note that Andrew Forrest's Squadron Energy has paid $4.1BLN for the Swiss CWP Renewables Australian portfolio. Two conclusions can be drawn from that:

1.That the subsidies paid and preferences granted to renewables are EXCESSIVE.

2.That Australia is buying back the enterprises we licensed at ENORMOUS cost.

I especially object to providing subsidies from the Government, as money is better spent directly on the environment, and the contingent liabilities will reduce our credit standing.

As each new wind construction and solar works come online it makes the grid less and less reliable. Up to 50% renewables is just about manageable with 25% spare capacity in fast response coal and gas. No country has successfully gone beyond that. Doubling down with more renewables makes it less reliable.

I ask the proponent to itemise:

1. Public monies. Detail the description and dollar amount of each subsidy, and other benefit, both direct and indirect, to be received from the public purse in a time line. Indirect benefits, including the value of a government guarantee, need to include an actuarial calculation.

2. Itemise the amount of materials needed to manufacture and construct all parts of this project. Including rare earths, where they are going to be sourced from and disposed to.

3.Itemise the amount of CO2 released in all aspects of creating this project, and compare it with the anticipated CO2 to be saved. with timeline, including from the loss of vegetation from the site and connecting roads and transmission lines.

4. Detail the change to global carbon dioxide levels and temperature to be achieved by this project both in gross terms and net after 3. above.

5. A calculation of energy in to energy out of this project.

6. Detail how the turbines and blades will be recycled or not and amount of material to be disposed of and where.

7.Detail the number and skill level of the jobs to be created and to be exported.

I request the Planning Department:

1. To require a bond or irrevocable third party AAA guarantee for damage repair, removal, rehabilitation, and toxicity to third parties.

2. To ensure that NO SLAVERY or CHILD LABOUR is used in the manufacture of any of its components.

3. To require the proponent to publicly provide annual reports for the project, including itemisation of each government support, and where those are indirect, an actuarial calculation of their value to the proponent and cost to the economy, and detail their 5 min generation and supply.

4. To provide annual ESG reports.

5. To make the project, and its owner, and its ultimate owner non transferrable.

6.That adequate environmental safeguards be required for fire and toxicity.

7.The fire and toxicity of BESS have adequate safequards.

8.Require the proponent to provide and pay for their own connection costs to the grid upfront.

9.Require the proponent to pay the costs of transmission upgrades based
on their proportionate capacity, upfront.
10.Require strict limits on the frequency and voltage of acceptable supply.

11.Impose severe penalties on supply contracted for but not delivered.

12.Require effective braking to enable supply in high wind conditions

13.I further ask the Planning Department to apply the Precautionary Principle in relation to the uncertainty of the net benefits, and the known and likely risks to the environment, to reject the proposal.

14.That the project receives NO subsidy and NO preference.

15.If granted consent, that it be subject to the some 60 conditions which the NSW Independent Planning Commission have designed to:

prevent, minimise and/or offset adverse environmental impacts;
set standards and performance measures for acceptable environmental performance;
outline how the land can be returned to its current use following decommissioning and rehabilitation of the site;
require regular monitoring and reporting; and
provide for the ongoing environmental management of the development.”

Name Withheld
Waverton , New South Wales
Dear Project Promoter and Government Regulator,

                        CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY POLICY

Please provide a written response to the issues raised in this submission.


The Paris Accord was signed by 196 countries in 2015 to aim for "net-zero" by 2050. However, only 11 have enacted legislation, and another 22 have pledges of varying robustness. Australia has the full suite all enshrined in law of a 43% reduction and 82% of renewable electricity by 2035, net zero by 2050, net-zero beyond 2050, and of all greenhouse gases. However, the reductions are non-binding on developing countries who currently produce 63% of carbon emissions.


At the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation Summit in Samarkand, Sept 16, 17, 2022, with Xi Jinping, Narendra Modi, Vladimir Putin, Racep Erdogan, and a few others, they stated that in relation to energy "we will not be co-erced, . . .will delay renewables, and aggressively increase fossil fuels." [Reported by Vijay Jayaraj from Newsmax who was present.]

That is concise, clear, and unequivocal. China, India, Russia, Turkiye, spoken for.


Australia produces 1.2% of global carbon dioxide emissions which is a small part of the world emissions and is very expensive to reduce. The CEO of Australian Super, Paul Schroder, estimates the cost for Australia to achieve Net Zero at up to A$10Tn dollars. Australian annual GDP is currently a A$2.3Tn. McKinsey estimates it will cost the U.S. US$9.2Tn per annum.

And it is futile. Australia is planning to phase out its remaining 22 coal fired power stations whilst worldwide over 535 are proposed or commissioned; China is building 2 new coal fired power stations per week; and in China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Turkey, etc. [Michael Shellenberger in about Sept 2022].

Willis Eschenbach, 2/6/23, with interactive map, plots the 1,008 coal fired power plants announced, in planning, permitted, or under contract.


Guyana and Sri Lanka under World Bank influence tried to remove ammonium fertilisers, which produce great crops and also carbon dioxide, and almost ruined their economies. In June 2022 40,000 Dutch farmers drove their tractors onto expressways in protest at the proposed reduction in nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer and number of animals. The jurisdictions of South Australia, Victoria, Great Britain, California, Texas and Germany tried to replace coal fired power with renewables and were only saved by the supply of electricity from their neighbours. GB and Germany are reintroducing coal power and Germany is now building dozens of gas fired plants.

There is a great maxim that "you should not be first to adopt new technology, but not the last."


Fossil fuels provide 6,000 products, a lot of fertilizer and 97% of transport energy. Unless we are to return to an existence like the Shakers, net zero is unlikely to be achieved.

Electricity represents only 21% of world energy.


Renewables consume at least ten times the quantity of copper, lithium, cobalt, rare earths, concrete, steel and manpower than required for equivalent generation from coal. [Mark Mills]. The carbon dioxide emissions of solar panel production is so large that at the 35 degrees of latitude from the equator, the expended carbon dioxide exceeds the saving for the remainder of their life.[Pollock] This is at about Canberra, Swan Hill, Adelaide.

Renewable energy sources are low density and low EROEI, and low on all sustainability scores.


The cost of wind and solar may be cheap in isolation when the wind blows or the sun shines. But in a grid, wind and solar produce a varying magnitude of DC power that needs firming from inverters, complex switching, or batteries. And being at the extremities of energy networks, they require vastly greater new transmission networks, which in the NEM the 10,000Kms which was to have cost $13BLN has now blown out by 40%. [On 13/5/23 Bowen mentioned $20BLN, being +55%].


Wind and solar add another layer of generation to a grid. When there is no sun and no wind they need 100% back up power rapidly deployed. Initially in Australia this has been provided by existing coal fired power and the previous inbuilt 20% surplus capacity. As coal fired power stations are retired, proponents are promoting the idea of storage. The reality is that back up needs to be provided by fast response generators, which are traditionally gas. The Combined Cycle Gas Turbines, CCGT, generation is at least twice the cost of coal. Being new compared with retiring old equipment, also adds a layer of cost. Jeff Dimery, CEO of Alina Energy estimates the capital cost to replace their existing $1BLN of coal power will require $8BLN with gas.

So, the all-inclusive cost of new renewable electricity and transmission to a grid is between 3 and 9 times the cost of coal.

In fact, it's already common in other parts of the world to see efficient combined-cycle gas turbines replaced by open-cycle ones because they can be throttled up and down more easily to back up the rapidly changing output of wind and solar farms. But open-cycle gas turbines burn about twice as much gas as combined cycle gas turbines. It is ironic to be switching to high-emissions machinery as part of an effort to reduce emissions. [Bryan Leyland]

Green supporters had been very much against gas which at its best produces only half the emissions of coal. However, the grid instability has compelled the NEM to accept gas generators. Pumped hydro and batteries are expensive and provide very little to the grid. Maybel nuclear will be acceptable.


The large emitters in Australia (in excess of 100,000 tons per annum of carbon dioxide) number some 215 organisations and businesses, accounting for about half of Australia's emissions. They are required to reduce emissions, or buy offsets, from 1 July 2023, at about 5% p.a. on a reducing balance to achieve a 30% reduction by 2030 and 100% by 2050.
This will result in large cost increases, loss of international competitiveness and a massive transfer of production offshore.


If one really did believe that decarbonisation of an economy was necessary, (and I do not wish to concede that premise), you would install nuclear in the location where you phased out coal and use the available water and transmission.


In Australia, the production of electricity from solar farms averages 19% of their rated capacity, and wind 29%, which I call the Pollock limit. That will probably decline slightly as the best sites went first. Beyond that, overbuilding and spillage or curtailment of electricity occurs. [Pollock]. Yes, some overcapacity could be used for storage or maintaining the traditional 20% surplus for unexpected occurrences, but these are small amounts.

[You can skip the difficulty in this paragraph.] However, there is a complexity here, that about 11% of the 29% wind generation is synchronous with solar. As solar has a lower cost and is less energy dense and has a lower EROEI it will jeopardise or cannibalise the 11% of synchronous wind. So effectively generation into the grid is only 18% from wind and 19% from solar meaning the economic build of renewables is ONLY 37%.[Trembath and Jenkins.][ ]

Never mind the complexity; 37% is the optimum input of renewables into the Australian network NEM. [King]


In the NEM, these ideal capacities for solar of 19% and wind 18% are far exceeded. The NEM is said to be a "22GW enterprise", with a minimum demand of 18GW and a maximum of 28GW. Solar has an existing and commissioned capacity of 12GW, 67% of the likely minimum demand, and a further 48GW proposed, being another 270%. Wind has an existing and commissioned 12GW, 43% of the likely maximum demand, and a further 19GW proposed, another 68%. Rooftop solar capacity at 20GW (Aust) is huge, the largest penetration in the world, and in the NEM could replace about 3GW. That 3GW will reduce demand and make the above percentages even higher.


It is often naively stated that you just keep adding more renewables until the grid is fully supplied. There are several things wrong with this assumption.

Firstly, if the renewables were only producing a meagre 8.3%, say, of their nameplate capacity, then it is supposed you simply construct 12 times as many. But that is a massive amount of extra capital and a huge spillage of electricity at times when they produce more.

Secondly, the renewables produce in an environmental sawtooth fashion. Ponton analysed the UK over 2022 where wind supplied 25% of demand, (they have no effective solar). He then notionally kept doubling up possible wind turbines. At 4 times current quantity, you would naively expect to be supplying 100% of the grid. However, only 2.5% extra supply came from the fourth 25% (22.5% was curtailed), because wind blows at varying rates producing varying amounts of electricity, and the lows in the sawtooth do not get filled up. (A small 15% of demand had to be reserved for supply by idling standby gas generators). At 4 times capacity wind could only supply 52% of demand, and regardless of however many times you doubled up, the wind could only provide a maximum 60%. [Ponton]

Thirdly, there are renewable droughts, or dunkelflautes. At times there is no wind and no sun. Studies at various locations around the world show that in a full year the combined addition of all wind droughts and low sun will be equivalent to a full 30 days, (varying at location from 15 to 46 days).

For these periods you need backup. Fast response
John McGrath
WOOLGARLO , New South Wales
I object to Goulburn River Solar Farm SSD-33964533 for the following reasons; These commercial solar projects are approved irregardless of any recycling knowledge of old solar panels? Thus tonnes of further toxic waste at its useful life date? This project is supposedly rated at 550MW, which will be at its best due to the nature of solar operational 50% of its time? There for this form of generation which cannot be controlled by man is both intermittent and unreliable? If the promotional information is correct an 800 hectare footprint will negate any rural usage for this land for the life and probably well after the life of the installation due to heavy metal contamination? The fire risk and uncontrollable fire likely to erupt within this installation will be a "photocopy" of the Beryl Solar Farm fire in April 2023 at Gulgong has proven the issues with solar panel fires? Therefore toxic smoke will linger over the site for a long time after the fire burns itself out? The fact that these installation are subsidised by the taxpayer then there is a complete waste of taxpayer monies for absolutely unreliable generation system? There are much for cost effectively reliable and environmentally ways to generate power?
Peter Kaleta
BONBEACH , Victoria
I object to this project due to the creation of toxic materials generated to support the solar farm without any reasonable plan to enforce recycling of the solar panels used. This plan should not be allowed to proceed without such a plan.
John Moore
Submission that the Goulburn River Solar Farm Upper Hunter Region application for a planning permit not be approved.
Australia is a modern society that is totally dependent on a uninterrupted, reliable supply of base load electricity, for every second, of every hour of each, 365 days a year. A sudden break in supply, creating a blackout would have a catastrophic effect on the society.
Sudden blackouts will affect everybody, financial systems will suddenly close down, Banks, Shopping Center’s, Cafe's, all businesses, manufacturers, just everything will be unable to trade or operate. Particularly with a lack of refrigeration leading to widespread food spoilage in both Supermarkets, cafes and homes, leading to food shortages. High rise buildings, apartments and homes would become uninhabitable. Such simple items such as garage doors would not open. Schools would need to close, traffic chaos would ensure as traffic lights would shut down, boom gates would stay down, street and all lighting would be out, TV, telecommunications and the NBN may shut down, the supply of water would be interrupted and sewerage services will backup. Hospitals, nursing homes and people relying on heating, cooling or life maintaining devices may die.
Solar Farm technology is Stone Age Technology, suitable only for a society living in the Stone Age.
This is because the fuel used to produce the electricity in a Solar Farm is Sunshine. The Sun only shines (in Winter) for a maximum of nine hours of every day, sometimes not at all. This means that for fifteen hours (62%) of every day the Goulburn River Solar Farm has NO FUEL and cannot produce any electricity. And if the day is cloudy or raining this period of zero electricity production is increased to 80% or even 100%. BATTERIES DO NOT PRODUCE ANY ELECTRICITY. They only store a surplus and even then they only return a percentage of what they receive to the Grid.
Who would buy a car that could not be driven between Sunset and Sunrise because it had no fuel? Or could not be driven if it was cloudy or raining? Or even worse driving down a highway, and suddenly losing power, because a cloud had come overhead?
To guarantee an uninterrupted, reliable supply of base load electricity, 24/7. Only generators capable of supplying a continuous supply of electricity for a least four hours at a time, any time of the day, must be allowed to provide electricity to the AEMO. Generators not capable of supplying a continuous supply of electricity for a least four hours at a time, any time of the day, should not be given construction planning approval
For these reasons the Goulburn River Solar Farm should not be given planning approval
1. Approval should not be given to the Goulburn River Solar Farm (GRSF). which only has a maximum amount of fuel available for a useable 8 hours a day, (with many days having cloud disrupting or stopping fuel supply altogether) to be built. With the shortage of fuel, the GRSF can only supply electricity to the Grid, for a maximum eight hours a day (and even that amount is uncertain). The other sixteen hours has to be supplied from a completely different source. This makes the GRSF claim to be able to supply the electricity for 156,000 homes (for 24 hours?) extremely unlikely to be fulfilled. NOTE: The GRSF claims to supply power for homes only. Is this because Solar Power is not strong enough to power manufacturing and heavy industry?
2. As batteries alone can never produce electricity. Batteries only take in electricity and release less than they take out. Therefor batteries are inefficient in storing electricity. The inclusion of a Lithium Battery only makes the GRSF further inefficient and uneconomic.
3. A Lithium-Ion battery only has a short life. Will the GRSF battery have to be replaced in at least 8 years? In fact a Lithium-Ion battery's average life span is 2 to 3 years or 300 to 500 charge cycles, whichever comes first. A charging cycle is a duration of utilization when the battery is fully charged, completely drained, and wholly recharged.
4. Lithium batteries are an extreme fire risk. There were at least 25,000 incidents of fire or overheating in lithium-ion batteries over a recent five-year period, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Within large-scale lithium-ion battery energy storage systems, there have been 40 known fires in recent years, according to research from Newcastle University. Reality: These fires have unique attributes and are very difficult to extinguish. In fact, you may need to let the fire burn out. That’s due to additional cells rupturing due to fire and heat, releasing flammable vapor. While water or foam may appear to put out fires out quickly, lithium-ion fires can reignite as breached cells are met with oxygen.
5. The requirements of the GRSF must include the on-siting of Special Lithium Fire Fighting Equipment? The GRSF must take safeguards in order that no fire or toxic chemical residue escapes from the GRSF site.
6. The GRSF operators must have a PUBLIC LIABILITY POLICY of at least $500 million to cover damages to life and property in the surrounding areas, if a fire or an incident of noxious chemical pollution escapes from the GRSF site and burns or contaminates any surrounding areas?
7. A further reason the Goulburn River Solar Farm must not be approved. Is that it will permanently pollute the site area. The site will be permanently contaminated with solar panels containing glass, metal, copper and some heavy metals, concrete steel reinforced blocks, steel stands, electrical cables, etc. With the presence of these materials decommissioning cannot take place using bulldozers and front end loaders to do so will contaminate the atmosphere and ground water. Decommissioning can only take place by hand which will be prohibitive, but if attempted it will never be able to be restored to its former uncontaminated state or full agricultural productivity.
9. The agricultural production and income from the site will be lost to the Upper Hunter Community forever. As mentioned in point 7 placing solar panels on the site will permanently pollute the site and stop any meaningful agricultural production coming from the site for maybe 100 years or more. For instance In Victoria, the local protest group of surrounding farmers and townspeople campaigning against a 566-hectare Solar Farm at Meadow Creek near Wangaratta, estimated the loss of prime beef production from the site at $5.66million per annum, for ten years it would be $56.6m and as the damage to the land is permanent over 100 years it would amount to $566m. This money is lost to the local community and surrounding towns and cities, with resultant very serious consequences.
For the above reasons I strongly object to the Goulburn River Solar Farm being granted a planning permit.
warwick edden
MERRIWA , New South Wales
Another issue i have with this submission is the community consultation by BP.From 1 meeting being held in our local hall in the middle of winter at night,where slides were shown on the top of an upturned table,to a second community meeting cut short due to the first meeting getting a bit fiery,to the occasional email and colour brochure when[ we got the right one] their performance was mediocre at best.Many issues were raised,some addressed while others were dismissed.If this is anything to go by it raises serious concerns about what may happen into the future if this solar factory is approved and members of the community have problems and concerns?The trackrecord of Bp in other projects it has been associated with is not unblemished.Many people in other parts of the state have been impacted by these renewable energyprojects and they have expressed many concerns and problems and if this project is approved we may be next.I hope all my concerns raised in my submissions are taken seriously and not just squashed by the green energy bulldozer in the rush towards renewable energy.Regards Warwick Edden.
warwick edden
MERRIWA , New South Wales
Another area about this submission i am concerned about is the cleanup of this area when the project is finished.The things proposed in the EIS are minimal at best.I think all structures,panels,framework.buildings.cabling ,concreting and anything else both above and below the ground should be removed and the site should be returned back to its original state.There should be nothing left to indicate anything was there.I also believe the state government should impose a cleanup levy on these renewable energy projects where so much is paid every year into a fund for the entire life of the project so that there is money availabe for the cleanup.Who knows what may happen into the future ? BP may go broke ,might decide to offload this project to someone else,who knows and if there is no money at the end to clean up,who is left with the cost?This would be a huge burden for the taxpayers of NSW to carry,while in previous operating years others have made huge PROFITS!Worth some consideration.
Dashiell Hendy
Cawdor , New South Wales
1. Solar farms take up a large amount of otherwise arable land and produce a low output of electricity for the amount of land they take up
2. The lifespan of solar panels is 10-20 years, after which they become a waste product that is environmentally toxic.
3. The supporting transmission lines for such a project will take up even more arable land. To ultimately transmit a low amount of unreliable energy.
4. So called Renewable energy has been proven to be unreliable and more expensive than current fossil driven infrastructure, requiring constant and ever more significant subsidies.
The end result of this being an ever more unreliable energy network with significant price increase.
5. Both solar and wind energy create intermittent and problematic fluctuations in the electricity network.
So much so that the entire electricity network across NSW required all new protection systems to deal with the problems created.
An expensive upgrade that was never accounted for and would not have been required otherwise.

6. This project will further contribute to all of the points above and simply lead to higher power prices for all residents of NSW as they coal network backing it up has to shoulder even more in the downtimes.

Energy generous be able to be ramped up and down at the generation point to facilitate network reliability and price stability.
This cannot be done with wind or solar.
Neil Fisher
Campbelltown , New South Wales
Does not provide reliable, despatchable power, uses Chinese slave labour, produces toxic waste, reduces food securiity by destroying prime aeavble land.
Overall net negative in pollution terms and social costs.
Name Withheld
ENFIELD , New South Wales
Having a solar farm near to National Parks and wilderness areas presents a blot on the visual impact of the area. The danger of solar panels catching fire and leaching toxic chemicals into the Goulburn River will potentially cause catastrophic harm to the local environment.


Project Details

Application Number
EPBC ID Number
Assessment Type
State Significant Development
Development Type
Electricity Generation - Solar
Local Government Areas
Upper Hunter Shire

Contact Planner

Kurtis Wathen