About Sebastopol Solar Farm

Sebastopol Solar Farm uses the latest in solar energy generation technology to generate clean, zero emissions energy to meet the region’s energy needs. It is located on private land approximately 16 kilometres south of Temora in New South Wales. The site covers approximately 248 hectares of agricultural land that is still used for livestock grazing.

Construction of the solar farm was completed mid-December 2021 and commissioning was finished in July 2022, with operations now underway. The project received development approval in February 2019. Construction of the project took 14 months. During construction 150 people were employed, many from the local area. Three people are employed on an ongoing basis to support the operations and maintenance of the solar farm which is expected to have an operating life of around 30 years.

What does operations involve?

  • Operating a large-scale solar farm requires regular inspection, testing and maintenance of solar panels and associated electrical infrastructure to maintain optimum energy output from the solar farm. Onsite personnel also manage the site itself – undertaking vegetation control, pest management, cleaning and facilities maintenance.
  • Safety is a key consideration for all our operations activities. The solar farm is now producing around 217,000MWh/per annum which is enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 40,000 NSW homes.

  • For more information download our Fact Sheet and Frequently Asked Questions.

Peak Power: 90 MW AC
Annual Production: 217,000 MWh/Year
CO2 Avoided: 77.600 tons/Year
Households Supplied: 40,000 Homes
Surface: 248 Hectares
Construction completion: 2021
Operation phase:

System Type:

Solar photovoltaic with single axis tracking

Why Sebastopol?

Increasing the use of solar energy to power our homes and businesses is important to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels, responsible for the damaging impacts of climate change. The Riverina area is particularly well-suited to the generation of solar energy because of the high volume of sunlight it receives.

The area is valued by its residents for its beauty, natural environment, heritage and community spirit. Surrounding land is used for agricultural purposes, including wool, meat and wine production, citrus and broadacre crop farming.

Solar helps to diversify local economic production by introducing a long-term, sustainable industry that provides economic and social benefit to the surrounding region.

Powering The Future

What does it look like?

The design and layout of the Sebastopol solar farm has been done in accordance with local planning laws to protect the amenity of nearby residents. While the solar farm can be seen from some vantage points, the design is low profile, with solar panels mounted in rows on a tracking mechanism to follow the sun from East to West, increasing the efficiency and output of the plant.

Landscaping has also been implemented to provide screening for residents within the vicinity of the property.

Panels are mounted on steel frames supported by piles. The panels are approximately 3 metres high above ground level including the mounting structures. This allows sheep to continue to graze in and around them now the solar farm is operational.

To connect to the grid, the solar farm uses a transmission line easement running from the western boundary of the site to connect to the existing 132kV Wagga Wagga North to Temora Powerline.

The Technology

  • Sebastopol Solar Farm utilises state of the art solar photovoltaic panels mounted on a horizontal, single-axis tracking system that enable the panels to track the sun. This technology operates in varying daylight conditions including low light and cloudy weather and is extremely efficient for generating clean electricity with minimal noise, water consumption or waste.

  • The solar farm consists of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels similar to those installed throughout Australia on residential and commercial properties.

  • Environmental studies were completed during the design phase to ensure that any potential impacts on native vegetation, birds or animals were minimised.

  • The project delivers significant benefits to communities within the Temora district and wider community:
    • It creates job opportunities during construction and operation.
    • It brings investment to the area and delivers additional indirect economic opportunities to local businesses including local grocery stores, restaurants, cafés, accommodation providers and petrol stations.

  • It delivers clean, zero emissions electricity to meet the region’s energy needs and helps further the development of the Australian clean energy industry.

Approvals Process

Given its significant potential to contribute to the economic and clean energy priorities of NSW, the Sebastopol Solar Farm proposal was assessed as a State Significant Development by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment during a detailed assessment and planning process.

Overview of the approvals process

Approvals Process Overview

  • Between March and August 2018, the potential environmental impacts of the proposal were assessed in detail were reported in an Environmental Impact Statement.
  • The Development Application for the solar farm was submitted in September 2018. The solar farm Environmental Impact Statement was placed on public exhibition from 10 October to 7 November 2018.
  • The project achieved development consent from the NSW Minister for Planning and Environment in February 2019 under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

The assessment and approval documents are available to be viewed online at the Department’s Major Projects website.
The Development Consent and Conditions are available here.
The Final Layout is available here.
The quality of operations at the site is managed through the application of approved management plans:

An Independent Environment Audit (IEA) has recently been undertaken to assess the environmental performance and compliance status of the Sebastopol Solar Farm. The audit findings and the contractor response to the minor non-compliances can be found below:

Past Independent Environment Audits are available here: