Bodangora Wind Farm Development Approval
2 September 2013
Infigen Energy is pleased to advise that the Bodangora Wind Farm in central west New South Wales (NSW) received development consent today. The project was assessed and recommended for approval by the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure, and the final determination was granted by the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC).
The proposed Bodangora Wind Farm comprises 33 wind turbines (up to 120 MW installed capacity), a substation, tracks, cabling and associated wind farm infrastructure.
The project is located approximately 20 km north east of the Wellington township and forms an important part of Infigen Energy’s development pipeline. There are seven landowners involved in the project that can benefit from a sustainable income stream when the project proceeds, which can assist with drought-proofing their farms.
The Bodangora Wind Farm will provide significant environmental benefits by supplying clean renewable generation and displacing greenhouse gas emissions that would occur with fossil fuel generation.
Infigen Energy is also committed to engaging and involving the broader community in both direct and indirect project opportunities. This includes a $85,000 per annum Voluntary Planning Agreement with the Wellington Council and a Community Benefit Fund which will receive 2% of revenue from one of the Bodangora wind turbines.
The construction of the project is expected to create approximately 110 jobs and another 6-8 ongoing jobs during the operation of the wind farm.
The Bodangora wind farm has complied with the original Director General’s Requirements and also has regard to the draft NSW Wind Farm Guidelines and in doing so will meet some of the most stringent planning requirements in the world.
The PAC report noted that, “NSW Health was very clear in its advice, which is consistent with that of the National Health and Medical Research Council – that there is no published scientific evidence to link wind turbines with adverse health effects … NSW Health also made it clear that noise levels at distances of more than one km from the turbines would not cause health impacts…”
Infigen Energy is satisfied that all other conditions of consent can be complied with, including the new condition of consent to source concrete locally.
Co-operation with community
Over the last four years Infigen Energy has undertaken a comprehensive environmental assessment to help define the final layout for the project. A significant number of alterations were made to the project to account for environmental constraints and to address concerns highlighted through the community consultation process.
“Using the onsite wind monitoring equipment and our experience at our other operating wind farms, we were able to design a layout that is strategically positioned to harness the stronger wind resource, while still maintaining sensitivity to the environmental constraints of the site,” said Frank Boland, Senior Development Manager at Infigen Energy.
Infigen Energy will continue to progress the remaining elements of the project to ensure a successful development for all stakeholders.
The planning decision today enables Infigen Energy to continue its investment in renewable energy generation projects in NSW thereby helping NSW meet the goal of its draft Renewable Energy Action Plan of having 20% of NSW’s electricity generated from renewable sources by 2020.