NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Renewable energy

This new framework will provide greater clarity, consistency and transparency for industry and the community regarding both assessment and decision-making on wind energy projects.

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 tiered approvals regime for renewable energy systems, to ensure the level of assessment is appropriately tailored to the scale and type of the system. 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 or solar 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

Under State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007 (“Infrastructure SEPP”), there are a range of assessment pathways for small-scale renewable energy proposals, which are tailored to the size, location and level of environmental impact of the proposal.

Small-scale renewable energy systems covered by the Infrastructure SEPP include photovoltaic systems, solar hot water systems, solar air heating systems, small wind turbine systems and wind monitoring towers. Additional provisions may be included in the relevant local council’s Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and/or Development Control Plan (DCP).


For further information, please contact us.



The NSW government supports the development of the hydrogen industry and recognises its potential as a clean, renewable and reliable source of green energy, alternate fuel and industrial feedstock.

In October 2021 the NSW Government released the NSW Hydrogen Strategy. The strategy aims to support investment and lower hydrogen production costs to enable a rapid expansion of a new hydrogen industry.

Adopting hydrogen technologies will help meet the NSW Government’s commitment for net zero emissions by 2050.

Hydrogen Guideline

The Hydrogen Guideline (PDF, 727 KB) supports the implementation of the NSW Hydrogen Strategy. It provides industry, regulators and the community with information on how the planning system can facilitate the development of the hydrogen sector in NSW.

View Hydrogen Guideline


Solar energy

The transformation of the global energy sector presents a huge opportunity for Australia. Renewables are now the cheapest form of new generation, and technology is becoming increasingly available to support large-scale energy storage.

The NSW Government supports the development of a sustainable solar energy industry in the state. Solar energy will help reduce reliance on fossil fuels, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and deliver a reliable and affordable energy supply to the people of NSW.

Large-Scale Solar Energy Guideline

The Large-Scale Solar Energy Guideline provides the community, industry and regulators with information and certainty on the planning framework for the assessment and approval of large-scale solar energy projects.

The guideline includes advice on a range of assessment matters including visual impacts and agricultural land use, and ensures the assessment of large-scale solar energy projects continues to be transparent, consistent and supported by the best available information.

The guideline was revised in 2022 considering extensive consultation and feedback received during a 10-week public exhibition period. Find out more and view submissions on the Planning Portal.

The guideline is supported by a technical supplement for landscape and visual impact assessment, which provides additional guidance and tools for assessing, evaluating, and mitigating visual and landscape impacts.

View Large-Scale Solar Energy Guideline


Wind energy

Wind Energy Framework

This framework provides greater clarity, consistency and transparency for industry and the community regarding both assessment and decision-making on wind energy projects.


Page last updated: 08/03/2023