A PROPOSED $200 million solar farm at Eglinton is likely to take years to get to the operation stage, according to the company behind it.
Garth Heron, head of development with the French renewable energy company Neoen, was in Bathurst recently for a community session to introduce the project.
He said the process from proposal to completion was a long one.
"It does take years," he said.
"We have a lot of design work ahead of us - six to 12 months of design work.
"And then the development approval stage starts. That can take, again, between six and 12 months in total.
"And it's only at that stage that we can look at finalising the design and getting ready for construction.
"So we could be a number of years away from starting, but the important thing is to make sure that, at this stage, we get as much feedback as we can."
The project is of such a scale that it will be the NSW Government that has the say on whether or not it goes ahead, he said, but the public will have the chance to make submissions during that process.
Mr Heron said Neoen's projects are designed for at least 30 years of life, and that includes the panels used as part of them, and "then it comes down to a lifetime assessment of all the equipment as to what you replace at that stage".
He also said it was likely the Eglinton project, if it goes ahead, would have a battery incorporated.
"I would not be surprised if, by the time we get to submitting a development application, there's a battery as part of that application," he said.
"Batteries are actually quite small in comparison to solar or wind farms. They take up quite a small amount of space.
"And if you're building a new substation, which you need to do when you build a solar farm or a wind farm, it often makes sense to build a battery bank as well."
Neoen says its proposed $200 million solar farm at Eglinton would be able to power 97,000 homes.