The development of a 60 megawatt solar farm has been given the green light to go ahead at Yanco.
The project is valued at $99.3 million and as a 'state-significant' project was scrutinised by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment which gave approval.
As well as having the capacity to generate up to 60 megawatts of power, batteries will be used to store energy during times of low demand and release it into the grid when demand increases.
Ib vogt GmbH is the German engineering firm behind the development and specialises in development solar farms internationally.
Leeton Shire Council's general manager Jackie Kruger said it was expected development of the project, one kilometre west of Yanco, will begin in six months.
"We are pleased that this major development will bring around 120 jobs especially during the construction phase," Mrs Kruger said.
"Timing couldn't be better as the drought bites and many jobs particularly in manufacturing industries have been impacted.
Timing couldn't be better as the drought bites and many jobs particularly in manufacturing industries have been impacted.Leeton Shire Council general manager Jackie Kruger
"The construction jobs generated from the solar project will offer a reprieve and we hope together with rainfall that the agribusiness sector will soon be back to full production."
Before development was approved, Leeton Shire Council had concerns about prime irrigated agricultural land being occupied by solar panels.
The concern was addressed by the developer ib vogt offered a voluntary planning agreement that includes a 30 year time limit on the operation and committed to rehabilitating the area for agricultural production at the end of its life.
Mayor Paul Maytom described the outcome as a 'win-win'.
"It allows the land to be rehabilitated at no cost to council," Councillor Maytom said.
Cr Maytom said protecting the agricultural land was an important concern as the Water Act, and water trading could allow water to return to the property when the land isn't used as a solar farm.
It meant there was an opportunity to use the land productively again.
Ib vogt will also contribute $900,000 to Leeton Shire Council for community infrastructure projects over the 30 years.
Cr Maytom said council wanted to see another net benefit to help the shire from the development.
The Yanco Solar Farm will cover 200 hectares of land and will connect to the Transgrid electrical substation at Yanco.
There will be 200,000 solar panels across single rows 2.2 metres above the ground level. Once construction is completed, two to three ongoing maintenance jobs will be created.
Ib vogt was contacted for comment