Bango Wind Farm in the Southern Tablelands has been approved following a lively discussion about the project at the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) hearing in March. Local supporters worked hard to see the project through the final steps of its approval which has followed years of work by CWP Renewables in the area developing the project.
The hearing was an opportunity for the IPC to hear from locals on the Department of Planning’s recommendation to approve a reduced number of wind turbines. Earlier this year the department recommended a reduced number of wind turbines be approved in the project on the basis of visual amenity. The loss of just four turbines from the project could mean a loss of more than $60,000 to local farmers and about $10,000 to the Community Enhancement Fund. That’s $70,000 lost to the farming community of Boorowa each year for the life of the project. Over the 25 year life of the wind farm, that could be $1.75 million lost to the community because of “visual amenity”.
Many locals were happy to finally see a recommendation for approval, but disappointed that the project might be reduced in size. We worked hard to help locals get along o the IPC and make their voices heard in support of the wind farm. Those speaking in support urged the commissioners to reinstate the four turbines. There was a large gathering in the room to support these speakers. Many others lodged online written submissions to the IPC. It is very unusual for so many to be in support of a major project at these hearings.
The community’s voice was heard and the IPC have reinstated two of the four turbines that the department of Planning proposed to remove. That’s about $875,000 that locals will have to spend on their farms and in their towns. The farmers and community will appreciate this income, especially as climate change makes the weather more extreme and unpredictable. Another small win for regional communities and the Australian Wind Alliance.
The region between Yass, Boorowa, Bookham and Rye Park in the Southern Tablelands of NSW has immense potential for wind farms. The reliable wind resource, the quality of the local transmission infrastructure, and the existence of family farms, make this an ideal location for wind turbines. And wind turbines are a great way to support farmers and local communities with drought-proof, long-term income. We’re looking forward to seeing this area become a wind energy super power!
Sapphire Wind Farm in the Northern Tablelands @ CWP Renewables
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- published this page in Blog 2018-07-19 15:18:53 +1000