January 14, 2022

Nundle’s Hills of Gold Wind Farm to be reduced by more than 200 hectares following public submissions

Cody Tsaousis | The Northern Daily Leader | January 13 2022 | www.northerndailyleader.com.au

Five turbines and more than 200 hectares of land have been removed from the initial proposal for the Hills of Gold Wind Farm at Nundle, following more than 600 public submissions.

A large number of concerns were raised within those, and ENGIE – the proponent – revealed in its response to submissions report that a number of alterations would be made to the project.

It claims the changes will reduce to impacts on native vegetation by 36 per cent, and impacts on koala habitat by 29 per cent.

It has also stated that ‘optimisations’ to its traffic management plan will reduce traffic during the two year construction period by 38 per cent.

“Currently the stance within the community is this, which is that the majority of locals oppose the proposal, and we will continue to highlight its unacceptable environmental, social and heritage impacts,” he said.

“In response to the response to submissions … so far from what I’ve glanced there are still underlying problems that have not been addressed.

“One major one that comes to my attention is they had a budget in their environmental impact studies that excluded 23 items.”

Mr Krsulja said that hasn’t been amended, and they are yet to receive a response of any significance from the company when asked about it.

But ENGIE’s general manager for asset development, Andrew Kerley, said he believes the report released on Wednesday afternoon and all of its supporting documents which total hundreds of pages, adequately addresses the project.

“At this point, I would encourage everyone to take their time and read through the material, we’re comfortable that it does appropriately address the project and the concerns that had been raised previously,” he said.

He also responded to a query about the financial viability of the project.

Mr Krsulja had claimed that with five turbines now being removed from the plans, the loss of many more could cause the project to collapse. But Mr Kerley said he was confident it would go ahead.

“Design works will continue with the project, we’re talking to contractors now that will be ultimately providing to turbines and building the roads and everything associated with the wind farm,” he said.

“The project is in an area of really strong wind resource that’s got a really good connection into the electricity network.

“We’re confident that the project is, and will continue to be, a viable project that increases the renewable energy generation in NSW and contributes to a lower cost of electricity moving forward.”

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2022/01/14/nundles-hills-of-gold-wind-farm-to-be-reduced-by-more-than-200-hectares-following-public-submissions/