Emotional farmers have foreshadowed the impacts proposed solar developments will have on their livelihoods for Greater Hume councillors, including an estimated "direct loss to income of $55 million over 30 years".
Rupert Cuming made the estimate, regarding the proposed Culcairn Solar Farm.
"A solar development of this scale is only going to further deplete the precious, limited, productive farmland available," he said.
"There will be far greater jobs lost than gained, and we've heard of families planning to exit the area, should the proposal go ahead.
"We invested everything in (our farm), but it's all under threat by an industrial development driven by greed."
Mr Cuming named Councillor Matt Hicks as among the landowners that would benefit from a lease with one of the solar companies.
"We've heard of the so-called community benefits, however we believe the only beneficiaries to this are the foreign-owned solar companies and the landowners of where they're planned to be built," he said.
"I'd like it to be noted there is a significant conflict of interest here, given one councillor has a direct financial gain in this proposal."
As recognised by Mr Cuming, Cr Hicks removed himself during the public forum and also when an item relating to another solar project at Jindera was considered.
The recommendation that council agree for an initial payment through a voluntary planning agreement to go to the Jindera Hall, as preferred by CWP Renewables, was lost.
Council will now revert back to the resolution from earlier this year to give in-principle support to the agreement, but not to designate funds to a project.
Cr Tony Quinn said the recommendation should not have been brought back to the meeting.
"It shows a great lot of contempt for council's resolution three months ago," he said.
"I suggest CWP take their money and wander somewhere else and leave the farmland to be used as farmland."
The meeting heard that there is a "race" on between solar farm developers to be first to put plans to the NSW government for approval.
Neoen Australia head of development Garth Heron addressed council about the French company's plans for a project accessed by Weeamera Road in Culcairn.
While not specifically referencing this region, Mr Heron gave the example that there could be 10 projects proposed in one region, with each developer wanting to be first with their plans, but not all would be successful.
"The reality is, there is only a certain amount of capacity the network can handle," he said.
"At the beginning of a project, there's always concerns in the community.
"They are usually the result of fear of the unknown.
"What we find over time is ... a lot of those fears tend to evaporate.
"We want to really open the floor and give people a chance to shape the project."
Mr Heron said of the proposed 1300 hectare footprint, 200 hectares would be covered with solar panels.
Asked by Cr Terry Weston why this area was chosen considering its agricultural base, Mr Heron replied that the majority of projects are built "in good agricultural areas" due to developers following transmission lines and the space available.
"There's very few places where you can put them," he said.
"You need to overlay a number of other layers, and the most important one is the solar resource and the solar resource is exceptional in this area."
There are four projects proposed in the Greater Hume Shire.