Gullen Range Wind Farm Modification Application (August)

Gullen Range Wind Farm

22 August 2014

The 165.5MW Gullen Range Wind Farm will be the largest wind farm in NSW when construction is completed. The renewable energy produced will be enough to supply 60,000 homes.

Gullen Range Wind Farm is nearing completion of construction with 68 wind turbines installed and 5 turbines remaining to be erected. The project approval provides for the erection of 73 wind turbines.

The recently released ‘Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Report’ on Gullen Range Wind Farm by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) did not identify any noise, visual or other issues with the location of the 5 turbines that had not yet been erected.

The DPE assessment report and the associated recommendations represent the completion of a key stage in the Section 75W Modification Application process that seeks to resolve a dispute over the final locations of wind turbines. The DPE report states:

“The Department’s assessment concluded that in most instances, the change in the visual impact from the constructed layout and approved layout was not discernible, however, in the case of two turbines, the Department has concluded that the constructed location of turbine BAN_09 and BAN_15, which have moved 167m and 178m respectively from their
approved locations, have caused greater visual impacts.”

“The Department’s assessment of noise involved the Department’s own noise expert and an independent expert to review the predicted difference in noise impacts from the constructed layout of turbines. The reviews conclude the proposed relocation of the turbines will result in an insignificant change in wind turbine noise from the wind farm and that it is capable of meeting the noise limits in the Project Approval.”

The two wind turbines referred to above, BAN9 and BAN 15 were installed many months ago. Gullen Range Wind Farm has been advised by independent experts that these turbine locations are consistent with the project approval.

Gullen Range Wind Farm stated publicly on the 31st of July 2014 that following the finalisation of the DPE report Gullen Range Wind Farm will now endeavour to complete construction as the last 5 turbine locations are not disputed in DPE report. This week, a turbine (BAN25) is being erected. The final location of this turbine is not closer to any non-associated residence within 2km of the wind
turbine and its final location is not considered in the DPE report to be of concern. The remaining 4 turbines to be erected are in the south of the project site and their final locations are also not considered in the DPE report to be of concern.

The DPE has referred the decision on the 75W Modification application to the Planning Assessment Commission. Gullen Range Wind Farm will continue to contribute during this process. Ultimately the Planning Assessment Commission will make a decision on the application.

Gullen Range Wind Farm has focused carefully on complying with the project approval. The project has been constructed under the project approval and Gullen Range Wind Farm has independent expert advice that the project is consistent with the project approval.