Farmers making a case for the Jindera solar farm have failed to win over Greater Hume councillors, who voted to oppose the project.
Two speakers for, and two speakers against the 120 MW farm addressed Wednesday night's meeting, called to decide the council's submission to the NSW planning department.
Martin Salzke, whose land will be leased by Green Switch Australia if the Jindera farm is approved by the state government, said the environment would be supported by grass he intended to sow and plantings.
"The land will remain agricultural land, and I intend to run 500 Merino sheep producing high quality, clean wool," he said.
"We are not looking at wrecking our land, just utilising it in a different way.
"I also look at the way this is drought-proofing my farm, with a steady income to help us through tough times."
But drought was cited as a reason why large solar developments shouldn't be approved in the area, by David Palmer.
"Most of NSW is currently drought-affected, but in our region farmers have been able to grow crops and fatten animals," he said.
Mr Palmer said the council's draft submission "listened to people in the community who are against the proposal".
"The reasons council outlined are, the development will result in adverse environmental, social, economic impacts to the local community," he said.
"We are gravely concerned that our physical, mental and financial well-being will be put at extreme risk [if the project is approved]."
Fourth generation farmer Jonathan Schulz spoke in favour of the project and said further expansion of Jindera, which the council argued was a reason not to approve the farm, would limit his agricultural capabilities.
"The government, in its wisdom, don't want more coal-fired power station and have proposed renewable energy," he said.
"I'm doing my bit for the environment, my farm, and the local area.
"We should be able to grow 40 to 80 per cent of the grass for grazing that we are able to now, in the project area.
"The sheep will have more shade in summer, and more wind and rain protection in the winter ... giving more potential to newborn lambs, increasing lamb survival rates."
Klinberg Road resident Karen Hanel said more than 40 per cent of the 521 hectares within the Jindera solar farm site area was high-capability agricultural land.
"The other concerns we have are the micro-climate and lack of transparency - the area to the north of our property was not supposed to be covered with panels," she said.
"It is also bewildering the Crown land being purchased is not clearly stated.
"As the EIS is being read, one has to become robotic not to feel stress for the terminology," she said.
"For example 'RU1' - which is us, resident un-involved, number one.
"Solar energy projects do contribute to energy targets ... but they should be planned in the right location and not in locations purely based on transmission lines and Transgrid substations."
The environmental impact statement prepared by ngh environmental states the site is "not located in an area mapped for important agricultural land" and that "all potential land use conflicts can be adequately managed".
About 17.41 hectares of native vegetation would be removed to make way for the $167.5 million project, including Blakely's Red Gums species.
"The amount of habitat to be removed or disturbed by the proposal is minimal," the EIS stated.
About 50 people packed into the council gallery at Culcairn to see what decision council would make about the draft submission prepared, which raised issues around environment, Aboriginal heritage, and bushfire.
Councillors Doug Meyer, Denise Knight, Jenny O'Neill, Lea Parker Annette Schilg and Terry Weston voted for the recommendation to oppose the Jindera solar farm in council's submission to the NSW Planning department.
Matt Hicks and Tony Quinn were not present, and mayor Heather Wilton voted against the motion.
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Cr Annette Schilg said she struggled with the 30-year lifetime of the proposal.
"There isn't a lot of support about what actually happens at the end of the life of those farms," she said.
"Energy companies and willing landowners are the ones that determine what parcels of land are feasible, and that may not be what the whole community is prepared to go along with.
"The companies give us talks, and some of them haven't even been to council meetings to have discussions with us.
"They're business people ... so whatever they're saying is going to sound pretty rosy."
The Department Planning, Industry and Environment is holding an information session about solar proposals at the Jindera Community Hub from 6pm on November 7.
Correction: An earlier version of this report stated councillors voted unanimously for the recommendation to oppose the solar development.