NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has today welcomed the NSW Department of Planning and Environment giving the green light to two modification applications for the approved Glen Innes Wind Farm, located approximately 12 kilometres west of Glen Innes.
The application involved:
• increasing the height of the turbines by 20 metres (from 130 to 150m);
• moving the location of two of the 25 approved turbines; and
• extending the project approval by an additional 12 months to allow sufficient time for the detailed design of the wind farm to be completed.
Mr Marshall, a strong advocate of renewables in the region, said he was delighted to see the second of three windfarm projects between Glen Innes and Inverell, move closer to construction.
“We have huge potential for renewables in our region and this project, combined with the larger White Rock (GoldWind) windfarm nearby, is very exciting for Glen Innes and our region,” he said.
“With these modifications now approved I’m looking forward to seeing construction getting underway within the next 12 months.”
Mr Marshall said that under the modified conditions, Glen Innes Windpower will have until 31 January next year to begin construction on the site.
“The proposals were on exhibition for feedback in early 2014, and the Department received 12 submissions from the community on each of the applications,” he said.
“The submissions focused on noise and visual impacts, which were carefully considered in the assessment.
“In approving the applications, the Department has updated the conditions to require the company to comply with strict noise limits and undertake detailed monitoring to demonstrate compliance with these limits.”
Due to the increased size of the turbines, the Department has also increased the visual mitigation zone from three to four kilometres.
“This gives people living up to four kilometres from the wind farm the right to request additional screening to reduce the visual impacts at their home,” Mr Marshall said.
“The site will also be subject to on-going audits and site inspections by the Department’s compliance officers to ensure the company is adhering to its consent conditions.”
The Department can issue the highest on-the-spot fines in the country for breaches of conditions. Companies can also be prosecuted in court for breaching conditions, with the most severe breaches attracting fines of up to $5 million.
More information can be found at www.majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au