Planning and Approvals

Uungula Wind Farm is a State Significant Development

 

Uungula Wind Farm was first publicly announced in 2011 and an Environmental Assessment was prepared in 2013 for the project which then consisted of 249 turbines within the Wellington Council and Mid-western Regional Council areas. Due to changes in the energy market at the time, the project Development Application was not formally lodged and the project was transitioned to the State Significant Development process. In December 2016 Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) were issued. The Commonwealth Government also issued Environmental Assessment Requirements for the Project to be assessed as a controlled action under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, using the Accredited Assessment approach.

Following a detailed review of the grid network and extensive consultation with landowners and neighbours to the proposed project, a decision to focus on the western half of the project and to remove proposed infrastructure from the Piambong and Yarrabin areas was made.

Further changes were proposed during the course of development which included seeking approval for a tip height of up to 250 m and the potential inclusion of a large scale energy storage facility (i.e. a battery). In late 2019 revised SEARs were issued considerate of these changes.

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and development application were lodged with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) in May 2020. The EIS was on public exhibition for 6 weeks.

Following the public exhibition and receipt of submissions, the project prepared and submitted the next required documentation for the project’s planning approvals. These are known as the Submissions Report (where the project presents, categorises and responds to each submission) and the Amendment Report (which describes any changes to the project since the EIS as a result of submissions, further studies or designs).

The project’s Submissions Report and Amendment Report are available online at the NSW Major Projects website (link below) and the DPIE have commenced their assessment of the project’s Development Application.

Environmental Offsets

Design of the project is being undertaken to avoid impacts to biodiversity and other natural values as much as practicable. Where impacts cannot be avoided, they will be mitigated using best practice adaptive management strategies.

In some cases, impacts may not be practical to avoid or mitigate, and therefore an offset may be required in accordance with NSW and Commonwealth legislation. Environmental offsets may include the establishment of Stewardship Agreements (formerly known as BioBank Agreements) which provide landowners with a guaranteed income stream to permanently conserve and manage land for conservation. The project team is investigating opportunities to establish such agreements in the NSW Central West region.

If you are a landowner interested in establishing an offset or stewardship site, or you believe you have credits which may be suitable for this development, please contact us to find out more.

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