- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

New wind farm approval

Development. A Tasmanian property developer and owner has approval to build a wind farm at Port Latta.

The wind farm will have seven turbines, standing at a maximum height of 180 metres, with capacity to generate up to 25 megawatts of electricity.

Circular Head Council assessed the planning application by Nekon against the Circular Head Interim Planning Scheme 2013 at its monthly meeting last week.

The Environmental Protection Authority also gave approval for the project.

This process included looking at flora, fauna and habitat impacts as well as weed and disease management. Other considerations included air and noise emissions, waste and hazardous substances and surface and ground water quality. Plus the social and economic issues and the decommissioning and rehabilitation of the site.

The project site covers an area of around 656 hectares located across three lots.

The site faces Bass Highway to the north with irregularly shaped boundaries running to the south east and south west, and is zoned rural resource and utilities. It has established forest vegetation in parts, and the Port Latta landfill site within its boundaries.

Seven kilometres of on-site roads will be upgraded as part of the project and less than one acre of native vegetation will be cleared for the installation of a power collection system, that will distribute electricity generated by each turbine from the site to the Port Latta substation.

During the consultation period, there were 13 public responses citing concerns for the potential impacts of habitat loss and collision risk for birds, the risk to threatened fauna from roadkill, and noise and water quality effects on aquatic species.

In supporting the motion, Deputy Mayor Jan Bishop said developments in new energy sources will benefit the region.

“This is a new era of [development] in our community and it is something we have looked very hard at and considered,” she said.

“We want to get away from coal and fossil fuels in our country, looking for cleaner, greener, more viable sources of energy to come to us . . . and wind power is just one of them.

“We have to look forward and embrace these things in the best possible manner.”

The project is set to start construction within two years of the issue of permit.