Broken Hill Solar Plant: Environment

Environmental management plans

First Solar and Consolidated Power Projects (CPP) prepared Construction Environmental Management Plans in consultation with the Broken Hill City Council and NSW Crown Lands and in accordance with the Guideline for the Preparation of Environmental Management Plans (Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources, 2004).

The plans – which were approved by the Director-General and implemented during construction – included:

The Operational Environmental Management Plan for the Broken Hill Solar Plant was prepared in accordance with condition C4 of the Project Approval and the Guideline for the Preparation of Environment Management Plans (Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources, 2004). It was approved by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.


Environmental assessment

Development in NSW is subject to the requirements of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) and its associated regulation.

AGL submitted a Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA) for the project in November 2010, and the project was identified by the NSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure (DoPI) as a Major Project under Part 3A of the EP&A Act. DoPI issued Environmental Assessment Requirements (also known as DGRs) for the project in December 2010.

Based on these requirements, AGL prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the project. This was placed on public exhibition from 29 October through 30 November 2012, during which time six submissions were received. AGL duly prepared a Submissions Report, with the report submitted to DoPI in January 2013.

DoPI referred the project to the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) for final determination and the project was approved on 27 March 2013. As part of the project approval, the PAC specified that AGL must:

  • prevent, minimise and/or offset adverse environmental impacts
  • comply with standards and environmental performance measures for the project
  • establish monitoring programs and provide regular reporting
  • provide for ongoing environmental management of the project

AGL also submitted a referral under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act to the Federal Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPAC). DSEWPAC determined that the proposed action was not a controlled action – so the project did not require further assessment or approval.

All of the reports mentioned above are available on the Documents page. For more information visit: