After many years of preparation, the Rye Park Wind Farm near Yass is applying for final development approval. The NSW Planning Department will assess the amendment and they will take into account the views of the community. Your voice is important!
Can you put together a short submission supporting the wind farm and get it to the Department by Thursday 23 June?
Roadblocks to wind farm development in NSW have held back the creation of thousands of new clean energy jobs in the Southern Tablelands region. With a bipartisan federal Renewable Energy Target now in place it is more likely that the Rye Park Wind Farm will proceed to construction.
The Rye Park project was recently acquired by Trustpower who plan to be a long term operator of the plant. They have reduced the proposed number of turbines from 126 to 109 to minimise impact on flora and fauna and negotiated generous Community Enhancement Funds with local councils to provide about $290,000 to the Rye Park area every year.
Already the Southern Tablelands is the main performer for NSW with six operating wind farms. Adding Rye Park to the portfolio will ensure the region’s place as the centre of NSW’s clean energy industry.
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.
- Be sure to choose "I support it" in the next box, Your view on the application
- Hit Send Submission at the bottom.
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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/rye_park
- You're done! Thanks for helping build more wind farms in NSW.
- drop us an email at email@example.com or call on 0434 769 463
INFORMATION ABOUT THE RYE PARK WIND FARM PROJECT
The wind farm is expected to generate 1,192 Gigawatt hours (GWh) per annum. This is enough electricity to power 130,000 homes, the equivalent of removing 260,000 cars off the roads per annum.
The carbon footprint is estimated to be paid back in nine months.
Rye Park’s strong and consistent wind makes a wind farm an efficient use of agricultural land. A solar farm would need to cover approximately 525 hectares with solar panels to produce the same amount of energy as this project. By contrast, this project uses just 100 hectares of the total project site of 13,500 hectares.
Local farmers will receive over $2 million every year for the next 20 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. The wind farm will mostly use existing farm tracks and virtually all electrical cabling within the wind farm will run underground.
Local economic benefits
The Rye Park Wind Farm project is a $600 million project. It has the potential to add economic value of $163 million in NSW, $45 million in the ACT and $49 million to the Yass/Boorowa region over the construction period.
The project will create 369 jobs in the region during the construction phase, significantly increasing the number of people living and working in the area.
35 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 is spent in the community – which stimulates business and creates further jobs.
There will be a direct injection of over $5 million per year to the local community through payments to landholders, permanent staff, local councils, and the community. $300,000 of this will be paid directly to community organisations through the legislated Community Enhancement Fund contribution.
Local businesses will supply goods and services including accommodation, engineering, earthworks services, fencing and landscaping.
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.
Ridges and valleys are a feature of the landscape around Rye Park. This will assist in minimising the visual impact of the wind farm. Only parts of the wind farm will be visible to a viewer at any one time.
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.
Turbine numbers have been reduced from 126 to 109, 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.
For further information, this is Trustpower's information page on the project
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- commented 2016-06-17 17:03:50 +1000I wish to see further development of such attractive alternative energy systems within both the State of New South Wales and the Commonwealth of Australia as is proposed here for the Rye Park Wind Farm project in the areas of Boorowa, Upper Lachlan and Yass Valley.
This particular proposal would appear to have many attractive aspects for both the local population and the wider population affected by both this and similar proposals.
Locally, it would seem to have many advantages, providing non-disruptive economic growth, long-term employment opportunities, and stable, drought-proof income to the immediate area now dependent on uncertain agricultural financial benefits.
More widely it would provide a large boost to the sustainable energy resources of the State, feeding a sizeable amount of clean and available energy into the State electricity grid with no long-term visual disruption to the facilities already in evidence.
The current proposal from Trustpower, in applying for Planning Approval, would appear to have addressed most of the concerns of local residents and business relating to its visual and economic impacts, leaving a most attractive package of minimal disruption and long-term benefits to the surrounding areas. The changes to income availability and distribution, and to employment opportunities would seem to be entirely positive for all immediately concerned.
In the longer term there is to be no impact on water resources or on grazing activities in the region, a position which is a welcome alternative to any involving the use, mining or destruction of fossil fuel reserves. As a visitor to the region, I would find that the appearance of the area is enhanced by the sight of such aesthetically pleasing and graceful, non-polluting structures as wind turbines, especially as they would be evident in only relatively small numbers, and would be of exotic appearance in a rural setting, eventually blending completely with the nature and style of the areas in which they would be located.
Such considerations are to be very favourably compared to the immediate destruction and visual degradation of any other type of energy-producing proposals, and to their long-term negative impacts on the clean and peaceful appearance and nature of this basically agricultural region.
I would strongly approve of your giving Planning Approval to this project.
- commented 2016-06-11 17:22:19 +1000Please go ahead. Let’s have more renewable energy in Australia, especially NSW. Other countries with far less potential than us for renewable energy are surging ahead of us. Time to get moving. Cut the fossil fuel right out.