Plans to build a 300MW wind farm in the New South Wales Hunter region have been lodged with the state’s Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, the project’s developer has announced.
Sydney-based renewables developer Epuron said on Wednesday that the Bowmans Creek Wind Farm development application and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) had been lodged and were on public exhibition, after two years of ecological studies, technical assessments and community consultation.
According to the EIS, the roughly $570 million project proposes to install up to 60 wind turbines at Bowmans Creek, around 10km east of Muswellbrook in NSW coal country and 120 km north-west of the Port of Newcastle in NSW.
The land that would host the wind farm is mostly privately-owned property, predominantly used for beef cattle grazing, the document says. The Liddell and Bayswater coal-fired power plants are located 10km south-west of the wind farm’s proposed boundary.
“The region is a significant power generating area accommodating active coal mines and two coal fired power stations,” the EIS says.
“The renewable energy sector is emerging with one solar, one pumped hydro and one wind farm project either in the assessment process or approved.”
How locals might feel about another renewable energy generation project being installed in their region remains to be seen, although local media reports suggest there has been some push back against Epuron’s plans, already.
According to the Singleton Argus in October of last year, a local group called Stop The Spin Hunter Valley (STS) have said the project shouldn’t go ahead in its current location, and that the region is becoming “a dumping ground for everyone else’s energy issues.” https://www.singletonargus.com.au/story/6978012/bowmans-creek-wind-farm-has-its-critics/
Just how much opposition – and support – the project has attracted will soon be clear, with the EIS exhibition period running for six weeks until 11 May 2021, giving members of the public the opportunity to make a formal submission to the Department.
Epuron, meanwhile, has plenty of experience developing wind energy projects, with 570MW of turbines in operation in Australia resulting from its development work, “including more than 216 turbines across four wind farms.”
According to the EIS, in New South Wales alone Epuron currently has more than 2,300MW of approved wind energy projects in the pipeline. And in Tasmania, the company has been in the process of developing a 12.5MW solar farm in the state’s north-west and is pursuing plans for a 300MW wind farm in the island state’s Central Highlands.