Gullen Range Wind Farm Modification Application (July)

Gullen Range Wind Farm

31 July 2014

The Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) has completed its assessment of the Gullen Range Wind Farm (GRWF) Modification Application. Gullen Range is a 73 turbine Wind Farm located North West of Goulburn in NSW extending over approximately 25km.

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 the dispute over the final locations of wind turbines.

Following completion of its assessment, DPE has now referred the modification application to the Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) and seeks PACs decision on the application. DPE has recommended approval of the modification with specific conditions including a requirement to move two installed wind turbines to the indicative approved locations.

GRWF is reviewing the DPE report and its recommended changes and has been surprised by the recommendations in respect of the two turbines. DPE has also proposed additional conditions including extensions to existing landscape screening requirements, increased vegetation offset areas, and updating the project approval to reflect current best practices for noise, tonality, decommissioning and community consultation.

GRWF received several expert consistency reviews of the project’s compliance with the development approval prior to and during construction. The consistency reviews concluded that the final turbine locations are consistent with the development approval. The two wind turbine locations that remain disputed by the DPE are installed and were erected quite some time ago. GRWF is not
convinced that the DPE recommendation to relocate the two turbines is warranted. This view is based on assessments provided as part of the modification application.

This large wind farm project is now at an advanced stage of construction with all roads, foundations, cables, transformers and 68 turbines installed. At the peak of construction up to 115 people were employed at site. In parallel to the PAC process, GRWF will now endeavour to complete remaining construction activities so that operational compliance monitoring and other measure such as the
community enhancement program can commence.

GRWF will continue to contribute to the 75W Modification application process which has now been referred to the PAC for consideration and decision.