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Golden Plains Wind Farm successful in Supreme Court

The Golden Plains Wind Farm, which proposes building more than 200 wind turbines around Rokewood, has won a Supreme Court case regarding planning approvals.

Proponent WestWind said in a statement the Court of Appeal handed down its decision on Thursday, with the case against state Planning Minister Richard Wynne unsuccessful.

The case was brought on by a group of Rokewood residents who said the initial decision, in January 2019, to grant a planning permit would affect protected brolga habitats, among other environmental effects.

Concerns over brolga habitat initially reduced the footprint of the project by about 20 per cent, when the Environmental Effects Statement was conditionally approved by the state government in December 2018.

However, with the conclusion of the case, WestWind is able to continue with development of the project, it said.

Managing director Tobias Geiger said the project required other approvals, including financing and from the Australian Energy Market Operator.

“We’re working towards commencing construction in the second half of 2021, and we’re working very closely with the Industry Capability Network to ensure we get as much local content in the project as possible,” he said.

“We’re very hopeful this project becomes a positive contributor to the recovery after COVID-19.”

If all goes to plan, the company has proposed building 228 turbines, each no bigger than 220 metres tall, with the capacity to power 500,000 homes, and provide free electricity to Rokewood residents.