Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is energy that comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind and rain that are renewable (naturally replenished).

The NSW Government has introduced a streamlined planning approvals regime for renewable energy covering both small scale and large scale systems. Renewable energy proposals are considered under different parts of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 as outlined below.

Large-scale renewable energy proposals

Under State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) 2011 electricity generating works including renewable energy proposals such as wind farms with a capital cost of more than $30 million (or $10 million in an environmentally sensitive area) are considered as State Significant Development under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Small-scale renewable energy proposals

Small-scale renewable energy proposals may be defined as ‘development permitted with consent’, ‘complying development’, ‘exempt development’ or ‘development permitted without consent’ in a local, regional or state planning instrument. State level provisions for small-scale renewable energy systems including photovoltaic systems, solar hot water systems, solar air heating systems, small wind turbine systems and wind monitoring towers are contained in  State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007  (“Infrastructure SEPP”). Additional provisions may be defined in the relevant local council’s Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and / or Development Control Plan (DCP).

 Useful resources

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Last Updated 27-Feb-2014