One simple step to get away from coal

The speedy transition away from coal in NSW depends on a strong pipeline of new wind and solar projects.

One exciting project being considered right now is the 400 megawatt Uungula Wind Farm, near Wellington. If approved, it could include a 150 megawatt battery, allowing it to shape the wind farm output to what the grid requires.

With the imminent closure of the Liddell coal-burning power plant and soon after that, Vales Point, NSW needs new firmed wind and solar power urgently.

 

You can put in a submission to support the approval of the Uungula Wind Farm here

 

Submissions close 5pm, Wednesday 8th July 2020

 

We’ve put together some information here to help with your submission. 

Making your submission:

  1. Explain who you are and why you support clean energy 
  2. Include any main reasons you think the project should be supported
  3. Go to the NSW Planning website, go to top right hand corner and hit Make a Submission. (you may need to create an account to make your submission)

 

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What is being proposed

  • 97 turbines, supplying around 400 megawatts of clean wind energy
  • 150 megawatt battery (MWh not specified at this stage)
  • The project is located on lightly-populated farmland predominantly used for grazing, approximately 14 kilometres east of Wellington, within the State Government-declared Central-West Renewable Energy Zone.
  • Project work commenced nearly ten years ago in 2011 and has evolved significantly in response to community feedback since then. The original project plan was for 249 turbines. Improvements in technology over the last decade mean the new project can supply the same amount of energy but with a layout a third of the size of the original, with 60% less turbines. The new project has a vastly smaller environmental footprint and nearly 100 less households in close proximity to the project.

Project Benefits

Climate and environment

  • The project is expected to generate enough power for over 170,000 homes, saving over a million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year.
  • The more wind and solar power plants we build in New South Wales, the quicker we can shut down coal plants that are contributing to dangerous climate change.
  • Two multi-year courses of environmental surveying suggest that the land is predominantly cleared, grazing farmland. There are, however, flora and fauna unique to the area. While there will be some biodiversity impacts from the project, they will be offset in accordance with the NSW biodiversity offsets system which will involve the setting up conservation areas on private land in the region.

Energy

  • The project would be part of the state government’s Central West-Orana Renewable Energy Zone, forming a key component of the state’s plan to replace polluting coal-burning plants with clean energy.
  • A 150 megawatt battery would be one of the largest in the country. It would continue technological improvements that are already seeing wind and solar power plants contribute to grid services and increase the flexibility of their supply to the grid. It would further demonstrate wind farms’ ability to contribute to vital system security and reliability.
  • The project proposes to connect to the grid through an existing transmission line in the near vicinity. This means that no transmission upgrades are required and the project is more likely to come online earlier.

Community benefits

  • The project is expected to create 250 direct and 400 indirect jobs during the 2.5 year construction period, which could begin in 2021.
  • 12 full-time equivalent jobs would be created to operate the wind farm.
  • An estimated $5.6 million economic boost would be expected to the local economy around Dubbo and Wellington during construction, from work going to local contractors and suppliers. 
  • As well as lease payments to farmers and voluntary agreements with neighbouring landholders, a community fund is proposed to pay for community projects over the life of the wind farm.

 

The full details of the Environmental Impact Statement is available on the NSW Major Projects website.


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