In 2009 Infigen approached the community around Bodangora in Central West NSW in relation to developing a wind farm on the hills surrounding Mount Bodangora. Having collected sufficient wind data and undertaken studies on environmental and social impacts of the project, Infigen applied for a project development approval.
Infigen developed good working relationships with representatives of the council, landcare, neighbours, landowners, residents, and business owners by meeting regularly in Wellington and reporting on the progress of the project development and address community concerns. The Bodangora Community Consultation Committee (CCC) was formed in June 2012.
Infigen Community information sessions were held in the Comobella Hall on 2-3 September 2011. The project application was on public display in the Wellington Shire Council between 8 June-6 August 2012. The CCC will continue to meet, as required, throughout the construction and operation of the wind farm.
In Wellington Infigen engaged with the Wiradjuri Council of Elders, the Wellington Council, the Wellington Times, local businesses, and landowners of properties located within a 4-kilometre radius of the Bodangora Wind Farm development project.
With the support of the host landowners and many businesses and individuals, the Bodangora Wind Farm was approved by the NSW Planning Assessment Commission in August 2013.
Key Concerns and Conditions of Consent
Wind generation technology is a non-invasive and sustainable form of electricity generation. It requires no water for cooling purposes, and is compatible with other land uses such as farming. Like other forms of infrastructure, key issues of interest influencing development and operation are:
- landscape and visual amenity
- property values
- blade glint
- shadow flicker
When reviewing project applications, the planning authorities address community concerns in relation to these issues in their assessment. Project approvals are granted together with conditions of approval that must be followed by the wind farm operator during the life of the project. The conditions typically include requirements for environment management and rehabilitation plans, noise restriction, and mitigation of visual impacts.
The project will create a substantial number of jobs and stimulate significant economic activity in the local region. Approximately 120 direct jobs will be required during construction and seven full-time jobs during the wind farm operating life.
Many additional services will be procured from local businesses to operate and maintain the wind farm, including environmental surveying, health and safety, and earth moving. Indirect economic flow-on benefits over the life of the wind farm are estimated to be approximately $15 million1 through trade with surveyors, hotels, and restaurants.
Please email us here if you wish to register your interest in providing services.
Payments to community
Direct community payments of approximately $3 million will be made over the course of construction and operation of the wind farm.
Under a Voluntary Planning Agreement with the Dubbo Regional Council, approximately $2,125,000 will be contributed towards the Bodangora Community Benefit Fund to help local community groups and organisations, and construction and road maintenance during construction and operation. Find out how to apply here.
A Bodangora Community Enhancement Fund will also be set up once the wind farm is operating, and will receive 2% of revenue from a designated wind turbine. The Fund will be administered by a rotating community committee.
1 Estimations calculated using the 2012 SKM report “Benefits of Wind Energy in Australia”, available here.