A NEW purpose-built transmission line could power up to 420,000 homes with renewable energy.
French company EDF Renewables met with up to 60 locals this week to discuss a potential $250 million solar farm project, called the Nottingham Park Solar Farm, west of Tamworth at Winton.
The company will work on the project for another 12 months until final decisions are made, EDF Renewables country manager Dave Johnson said.
"The meeting was the very first meeting. EDF R is committed to regular, open and transparent consultation with the community," he said.
"It was disappointing that some people misunderstood the purpose of the meeting.
"The meeting was to introduce the area to the project and look at how we can best engage going forward."
Lumea, the commercial arm of TransGrid, has confirmed the New England Transmission Infrastructure project is in the works.
"The route for the transmission line has not been finalised," the spokeswoman said.
Already 23 renewable energy proponents have sought to connect and secure capacity on the proposed 330kv transmission line.
Lumea is in the process of finalising a shortlist of applicants that will proceed to the next phase of the project.
It's expected to create up to 2000 construction jobs and 150 ongoing operations roles.
... in this particular case I think there's a lot more losers than winners.Russell Webb
Tamworth Regional councillor Russell Webb said TransGrid proposed to put a new transmission line between here and Carroll in November.
He said TransGrid's intention at the time was to have companies build solar farms alongside it.
"A lot of people were quite angry about the solar farm because people who live adjacent to where this proposed solar farm might go have small lots and feel visual amenity might be impacted on and the ability to sell the allotments will fall," he said.
"Like any development such as solar or wind, there's always going to be winners and losers, in this particular case I think there's a lot more losers than winners.
"I say that because there's a lot of small allotments not too far from this particular proposed development that potentially will be negatively affected."
Cr Webb said a project of that size would likely need approval from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
EDF has started to design and map the project and construction is expected to take around 12 months, if it goes ahead.
Mr Johnson said Winton was well-placed for solar power because it has favourable solar irradiation and is close to the NSW electricity transmission network that connects Sydney with northern NSW and QLD.
"The Tamworth area has potential for renewable energy projects and the NSW Government recognises this via the Renewable Energy Roadmap," he said.
The NSW government has committed to 12,000MW of new wind and solar by 2030.