The Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council is set to oppose the construction of the Jupiter wind farm at Tarago saying the green energy site would be an eye-sore on the region.
The NSW department of planning will likely have the final say on the project, but the council’s opposition is another hurdle for EPYC who have been trying to get it off the ground since 2014.
QPRC’s planning and strategy committee will meet Wednesday night and is expected to conclude the energy farm proposed is too intrusive, would increase traffic and interfere with fire-fighting operations.
In the committee’s meeting agenda, the council’s town planning staff say the 88 wind turbines, each 173 metres in height, would have an unacceptable visual impact.
It also said the structures would deteriorate the quality of life within the landscape due to “barely anything manmade”, while the “blade flicker” would create noise pollution.
“Further assessment needs to be undertaken on individual rural properties,” the submission said. “Rather than blanket statements that cover the project area which is 4,999 hectares.
“This is especially important as 59 dwellings have been identified as having a medium to high impact on them.”
In light of the recent blaze at Currandooley, the rejection cites the increased bush fire danger due to the “additional vegetation planting to reduce visual impact” and obstruction from the proposed turbines for fighting fires from the air.
The council’s development engineer said the traffic studies conducted by EPYC had not properly taken into account the forecasted congestion to Queanbeyan, Bungendore and Braidwood.
The NSW minister for planning Anthony Roberts said the proposed wind farm would provide electricity to about 150,000 homes.
The planning department knocked back an earlier application for the Jupiter wind farm in late 2015 after it found EPYC had not sufficiently addressed environmental and community concerns.
The joint Australian-Spanish venture has come back with a revised proposal decreasing the total turbines from 100 to 88, and across 25 rural properties to 23.
EPYC project manager Ibrahim Eid told Fairfax Media their revised environmental impact statement included consultation with community members up to three kilometres away.
But residents of the surrounding regions have vowed to once again fight the proposal.
Dr Michael Crawford from the Residents Against Jupiter Wind Turbines group has previously said the wind farm would have an enormous impact on the 250 homes within a five-kilometre radius.
The wind farm will be within 15 kilometres of two operational wind farms, one approved wind farm and a solar farm.
The environmental impact statement acknowledged there could be wind turbines within two kilometres of properties not part of the farm.
It also stated there were 43 threatened fauna species, including the glossy black cockatoo and the spotted-tail quoll, however the turbines, substations and other ancillary buildings would be built on cleared paddocks.
The company will carry out targeted ecological surveys to determine where each wind turbine will sit.
The council will lodge its submission to the NSW planning department. The department said they had already received about 150 submissions but expected more before the exhibitions period closed on February 15.
Mr Roberts had been sought to comment on the council’s expected opposition.
with Katie Burgess
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