The Crookwell Wind Farm has been awarded a contract to supply renewable energy to the ACT Government’s Renewable Energy Target. Crookwell is the only wind farm in the Capital region to win a portion of this contract. The Wind Farm is applying for a modification to its development approval to better fit the project to this contract, and to utilise the most up-to-date turbine technology available. The NSW Department of Planning and Environment will assess this amendment and they will take into account the views of the community.
Political uncertainty has held back the creation of thousands of wind energy jobs in NSW. The awarding of an ACT Government-backed contract means that this project is likely to proceed to construction. However, this project has had a number of vocal objectors in the past. It is vital that we, the “silent majority”, stand up and show support for this and other wind farms in this region.
The Crookwell Wind Farm is owned by Union Fenosa, a Spanish utility who are planning to be the long term operator of the plant, post construction. They have reduced the proposed number of turbines from 75 to 56 to minimise impact on flora and fauna and negotiated generous Community Enhancement Funds with the local council that will provide about $140,000 to the community every year!
Already the Southern Tablelands region is a standout performer for NSW with six operating wind farms. Adding the Crookwell Wind Farm to this portfolio will secure the region’s place as the centre of NSW’s clean energy industry.
(Note that the Planning Department is treating the Crookwell project as two separate wind farms - Crookwell 2, which is having its existing planning permit modified, and Crookwell 3, which is applying for a new planning permit.)
Writing your submission
- Describe your own interest in wind farms/clean energy and why supporting the project is important for you.
- If you're from the local area, let the department know you're a local supporter.
- Choose the main reasons you want to see the wind farm go ahead - environmental, farming, jobs, etc. Use any of the information below that is important to you.
Lodging your submission
- Go to the NSW Planning Department website. You can read the stuff at the top and points 1 & 2, but the submission part begins at point 3, Fill in the Online Submission Form.
- Enter your name and address details.
- Enter your Submission in the Submission box. Either use cut and paste or upload a pdf version.
- Make clear your submission relates to DPE's two projects - "RE: Crookwell 2 Wind Farm - MOD 2 AND Crookwell 3 Wind Farm"
- Choose "I support it" in the next box, Your view on the application
- Hit Send Submission at the bottom.
- Email us at email@example.com with your submission so we can keep track of supportive submissions
- Do you know anyone else who might be interested? Email them this link - http://www.windalliance.org.au/bango
- You're done! Thanks for helping build more wind farms in NSW.
- drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 0434 769 463
NOTE: Submissions close on Monday November 14
INFORMATION ABOUT THE CROOKWELL WIND FARM
The Crookwell Wind Farm is expected to generate 659 Gigawatt hours (GWh) per annum. This is enough electricity to power 101,000 homes,
It is estimated that the carbon footprint of the wind farm will be paid back in twelve months.
Crookwell’s strong and consistent wind makes a wind farm an efficient use of agricultural land. A solar farm would need to cover about 750 ha’s with solar panels to produce the same amount of energy as this project. By contrast, this project impacts just 100 ha’s of the total project site of 3,588 ha’s.
Local farmers will receive about $600,000 every year for the next 25 years, either in lease payments or through neighbour agreements. This will dramatically increase the financial resilience of the local farming economy and help farmers manage periods of drought and fickle commodity prices.
The construction of the wind farm and associated infrastructure will have negligible impact on continued grazing activities. Where possible, the wind farm will upgrade existing farm tracks and all electrical cabling within the wind farm will run underground.
Local economic benefits
The Crookwell Wind Farm is a $320 million project. It has the potential to add economic value of $130 million in NSW.
The project will create 120 jobs in the region during the construction phase, significantly increasing the number of people living and working in the area.
20 ongoing full time roles will be created in operations and maintenance, providing long term job opportunities for locals
More people working in the community improves the future of local schools and sporting teams and means more money being spent in the community – which stimulates business and creates jobs.
There will be a direct injection of over $1 million per year to the local community through payments to landholders, permanent staff, local councils, and the community.
There will be an annual contribution of $2,500 (adjusted annually to changes in the CPI) per operating turbine to the Upper Lachlan Shire’s Community Enhancement Fund to be spent on community projects in vicinity of project area. This equates to an annual contribution of $140,000 to the direct benefit of community projects in the local area.
The developer is required to make good on any road damage incurred through the construction period. Experience from other wind farms in Australia strongly indicates that local council roads are actually improved by the presence of a wind farm.
Significant additional traffic will only occur during the construction period with operation and maintenance adding little additional traffic to local roads.
The planning for this project has required additional flora and fauna surveys to be completed, adding to understanding of the natural value of the area.
- A reduction of 19 wind turbines, reducing the total from 75 to 56, which is expected to further guard natural value.
- Unlike coal-burning power plants, wind farms use no water in their operation, leaving local rivers and creeks untouched.
- On-site water usage during construction will be mitigated by minimising vegetation clearance, retaining all contaminated stormwater and process wastewater on-site and locating stockpiles away from drainage lines and in areas least susceptible to wind erosion.
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- commented 2016-11-14 21:28:14 +1100I am in full support of the Crookwell windfarms including the new amendments. This region is a fantastic area for wind energy and is growing expertise and jobs in this field. The wind industry is working much better and is supporting the farming community and the community as a whole. We need to be changing to renewable energy for so many reasons and to see the growth in broader community support for this position is heartening. I and my family, as well as many in our community, are investing in solar panels and battery technologies to do our small part to address the problems we are facing. We need a diversity of sustainable energy options to make these changes we need to do as a planet. Please support our planet and allow this process to proceed.
- commented 2016-11-14 15:31:46 +1100This is a win, win situation. Money get put back into our local farming sector – which desperately needs support – jobbs are created to help build and support our local urban centres….And we can contribute to lowering carbon gas emissions. This proposal has my full support!!