The controversial wind farm near Crookwell in the state’s central west has been given the green light after a legal appeal.
The NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPC) rejected an already scaled-back version of the project last year because the visual impacts of the 23 turbines was deemed “unacceptable”.
The region has multiple wind farms and the cumulative impact of the turbines was taken into account when the decision was made.
The proponents, Global Power Generation, appealed the decision in the Land and Environment Court.
The IPC and the company had agreed to reduce the number of turbines to 16 to get past the planning hurdle, the parties reaching the agreement in a conciliation conference.
“The effect of the agreement is that consent be granted to up to 16 wind turbines only,” acting commissioner Philip Clay said.
Global Power Generation said it welcomed the decision but there was still a lot of work to do.
“Next steps include consulting with council around permit commitments such as roads, submitting management plans to the DPIE [Department of Planning Industry and Environment] to address pre-construction conditions, and progressing commercial discussions with potential power purchasers.
“There’s still much to do to meet the requirements of the approval.”
Concerns ‘overstated’ for renewable energy advocates
The case has been chalked up as a win for renewable energy advocates who thought the original decision was unreasonable.
“Common sense has prevailed,” Andrew Bray from the Australian Wind Alliance said.
“This resolution suggests that the concerns over visual impact in the preceding decisions on this project were overstated.”
Mr Bray said the decision was also a win for the proposed renewable energy zones in the state that would see a high number of wind and solar farms in a dedicated area.
“There is a clear path under the NSW guidelines for multiple projects to be built in the same region as long as careful planning is adhered to,” he said.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding