In 2021, NSW Parliament amended the Forestry Act 2012 to enable renewable energy infrastructure to be established in exotic pine plantations within State forests.
This makes it possible to consider opportunities to produce renewable energy and renewable timber side-by-side in State forest timber plantations for the first time.
Forestry Corporation is now working with providers to identify opportunities to develop renewable energy projects within the softwood plantation estate.
What locations are we investigating?
There are around 225,000 hectares of State forest pine plantations in NSW, including many near existing energy infrastructure. The greatest potential for renewable energy projects is in softwood plantations near:
- Sunny Corner
Forestry Corporation has shortlisted renewable energy providers for each of these sites and requested formal proposals to understand if the opportunities are compatible with our activities to produce renewable timber, provide community access, manage fire and maintain sustainable forest management.
Under the legislation, Forestry Corporation may only consider opportunities that:
- are within a pine plantation
- when combined, are limited to less than 0.7 per cent of the plantation estate
- offset any land affected with replacement plantable land at a two for one scale, thereby increasing the area of public land dedicated to growing pine plantations
- maintain Forestry Corporation’s ability to meet its timber supply commitments.
If any suitable proposals are identified, they would also have to undergo the normal planning application and approval process, which includes detailed requirements for community consultation and environmental assessments.
Find out more
Information for community and other stakeholders
Information for renewable energy providers