A company planning what could be one of Australia’s biggest wind farms has cut the number of proposed turbines to minimise the impact on nearby landowners.
Initial plans for the Liverpool Range Wind Farm involved building 288 turbines between Coolah and Cassilis in central-west New South Wales.
But in response to public submissions received on the project about two years ago, the proponent, Epuron, has now made changes.
The amended plan would include cutting 16 turbines to reduce the total number to 272.
Despite the proposed reduction, the farm would still be more than twice the size of New South Wales’ largest existing wind farm near Glen Innes, on the state’s northern tablelands.
The company is also proposing to change the alignment of the electricity transmission line to reduce clearing of native vegetation, and change access points to reduce traffic impacts on nearby residents.
Concern about shadow flicker and visual impact
Project manager Julian Kasby said the turbines were removed due to concerns from landholders about shadow flicker and visual impact.
“Both our involved and neighbouring land owners, through consultation with them and review of the impacts, we’ve made decisions to remove turbines that we thought were unlikely to be built,” Mr Kasby said.
“We’ve been working ever since we received those submissions, listening to their concerns and where possible, incorporating their comments into revisions of the layout.”
Mr Kasby said he hoped these revisions would encourage more community members to get behind the project.
“We have attempted to address all of the responses and concerns that we got as submissions as part of the environmental assessment,” he said.
“We’ve also been speaking to other members of the community who didn’t put submissions in, just through our consultation efforts.”
Fresh proposal less ‘cumbersome’ says council
Warrumbungle Shire, which takes in the community of Coolah and much of the project’s footprint, has expressed concerns in the past about damage to local roads.
The council’s general manager Steve Loane said a good compromise had been reached.
“I think the proposal is not as cumbersome and I think Epuron’s approach to the community concerns, and also to council concerns, is much more pleasing for us,” Mr Loane said.
“It’s great that Epuron are listening to the people who are going to be effected – both landholders who are going to be hosting some of the turbines as well as the neighbouring landholders, but also the wider community.
“Epuron have shown, over the last 12 months at least, that they’re very willing to engage [with] the community on these matters.”
The amended application is on public exhibition until July 18.
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