Flyers Creek Wind Farm planning report released
27 November 2013
Infigen Energy is pleased to advise that the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure has recommended that the Flyers Creek Wind Farm in central New South Wales (NSW) be granted development approval. Assessment of the wind farm proposal will now proceed to the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) who will make the final planning approval decision.
Planning assessment report
The planning assessment report makes several noteworthy points with regards to the proposed wind farm, including:
- None of the public authorities objected to the Flyers Creek Wind Farm proposal, including the Rural Fire Service, the Environment Protection Authority and NSW Health.
- With regards to potential flora and fauna impacts, “The project will not significantly affect the conservation values of the locality, with surveys demonstrating low utilisation of the site by threatened species.”
- “With respect to infrasound (below 20 hertz) and low frequency (20 hertz to 250 hertz) noise, the Department is satisfied . . . modern turbines are not a significant source of low frequency noise or infrasound.”
- In conclusion, “The Department considers the Project to be justified and in the public interest and the Department therefore recommends that the Planning Assessment Commission . . . determine to approve the Project . . . ”
“We are very pleased that the Department of Planning & Infrastructure has decided to recommend approval of the Flyers Creek Wind Farm after their comprehensive assessment of the proposal,” said Jonathan Upson, Senior Development Manager at Infigen Energy.
The proposed Flyers Creek wind farm was initiated when local landowners approached Infigen Energy to investigate the feasibility of a wind farm in the area. In 2008, Infigen held meetings with the Blayney Shire Council and other stakeholders, and erected three wind monitoring masts.
Environmental studies continued through 2010, and a comprehensive Environment Assessment was submitted to the NSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure in 2011.
Following feedback from community information days in late 2010 and other community consultation undertaken by Infigen Energy, changes to the preliminary wind turbine layout were incorporated. A comprehensive Response to Submissions Report was completed in early 2013, and the Department of Planning & Infrastructure finalised their assessment in November 2013.
Flyers Creek Wind Farm is expected to comprise up to 43 wind turbines along with a substation, switchyard, cabling, access tracks and other associated infrastructure. Should a three-megawatt (MW) turbine be selected, the wind farm will have a capacity of 129 MW, generating enough pollution-free energy to power approximately 50,000 typical NSW homes.
The proposed wind farm site is located about 20 kilometres south of Orange, and is expected to benefit 21 farmers through a sustainable income stream which can assist with drought-proofing their farms.
Infigen Energy worked with representatives of the local community to facilitate the formation of the Central New South Wales Renewable Energy Co-operative (CENREC). CENREC’s objectives include purchasing one of the wind farm’s turbines, thus enabling the local community to benefit directly from the operation of the wind farm. More information on the co-operative can be obtained at www.cenrec.com.au.
“We seek to engage constructively with all of the communities in which we operate. The formation of CENREC demonstrates strong local community support for renewable energy in the region,” said Miles George, Managing Director of Infigen Energy.
You can view the PDF file here.