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Central Highlands wind farm wedge-tailed eagle safety plans  

Credit:  Sean Ford | The Examiner | August 16 2019 | www.examiner.com.au ~~

Proposed Central Highlands wind turbines will be located to avoid any significant risk of being struck by wedge-tailed eagles, the proponent says.

Sydney-based renewables company Epuron is proposing a 67-turbine wind farm development at St Patricks Plains, south of Great Lake and Arthurs Lake. The project would have tower heights of 150 metres and proposed blade length of 90 metres.

In documents lodged with the federal Environment Department, Epuron said an "eagle utilisation survey" over 24 months would be completed, and wedge-tailed eagle activity would be mapped.

"If this plan identifies a conflict between flight paths and turbine locations, the configuration of turbines will be amended to avoid any significant risk of eagle strike," the documents said.

Suitable wedge-tailed eagle nest sites within 1 kilometre of the project site would be checked for eagle presence before any works started.

The department and the state Environment Protection Authority would be informed if new nests were established.

Construction work would be timed and designed to avoid disturbance of active nests.

The company said a nest survey in February across the proposed turbine locations and a 1 kilometre buffer zone confirmed five registered nests in the project area and recorded three new nests.

There were other nests near the site boundary.

"There are extensive records of this species within the project area and the wider locality," the documents said.

"Wind farms are known to have direct impacts on this species through collision with turbine blades and indirect impacts due to habitat loss and disturbance during nesting."

The company said the project, without mitigation measures, would have potential to have a significant impact on the species within the project area.

Epuron said suitable Tasmanian devil den sites would be checked before any works started to make sure no active dens were destroyed.

The project would require assessment by the Environment Protection Authority and Central Highlands Council approval. Australian-owned Epuron also has potential wind farm projects at Hampshire and Guildford, south of Burnie.

Source:  Sean Ford | The Examiner | August 16 2019 | www.examiner.com.au

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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