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New wind farm proposed for Biala

A new wind farm of up to 40 turbines has been proposed for the Biala area, spread over two separated properties.

And the developers, Newtricity, have earned the congratulations of Upper Lachlan Mayor Cr. John Shaw for abiding by Council’s Development Control Plan (DCP) by ensuring that all the turbines will be at least two kilometres from the nearest non-involved residence.

Newtricity was formed in Ireland in 2004. It is now a registered Australian owned company – but with Directors based in Ireland.

The company claims extensive experience with wind farm projects across Europe and the Americas.

ERM (Environmental Resources Management Australia) is currently assisting Newtricity with community consultation, environmental impact assessment and general project management involved in planning and approval processes

Mr. Adam Cockburn, representing ERM, gave details of the latest wind farm plans to last week’s meeting of Upper Lachlan Council.

As the project will be of State Significance the determining authority will be the Department of Planning and Infrastructure – not the Council.

The wind farm will be located 8kms east of Biala, and will be spread over two non-adjacent properties.

Mr. Coburn said that lease arrangements are in place with the two owners, and the owner of the land between the two sites has also been consulted.

The 40 turbines will be placed on 29 different allotments within the two properties.

The transmission lines connecting to the State grid will run either to Goulburn or to the transformer for the Gullen Range site, currently under construction.

The wind turbine model has yet to be confirmed, but height will be between 130m and 150m from ground level to blade tip, and 80 to 100 metres to the top of the tower.

Mr. Cockburn told Council that three possible access routes to the site for construction (including Goulburn – Gunning and Goulburn – Crookwell) were being considered.

However, Director of Works Mr. Phil Newham commented that the planners had overlooked a more satisfactory route.

Mr. Cockburn said ERM will consult with Upper Lachlan on these routes.

The planned schedule is for approval to be gained in the second quarter of 2014, with construction to take place over 2015 to 2017.

The wind farm will be operative for twenty years (to 2037), and a year has been allowed for decommissioning.

Fact sheets on the project are currently being delivered to properties within ten kilometres of the site, and a website will also be established.

Mr. Cockburn said a “drop in” session be held to allow residents, agencies and relevant stake holders to attend on July 13.

A community Consultative Committee will be established.