Biala Wind Farm approved

BIG PICTURE: The Taralga Wind Farm, under construction. Photo by Col Douch for Taralga Wind Farm Pty LtdThe Taralga Wind Farm.
BIG PICTURE: The Taralga Wind Farm, under construction. Photo by Col Douch for Taralga Wind Farm Pty LtdThe Taralga Wind Farm.

The 31-turbine Biala Wind Farm has been approved. 

However, work at the site will not commence until a transmission line has been built to connect the proposed turbines to the electricity network. 

The NSW Planning Assessment Commission issued the deferred commencement consent to the $200 million project on April 12.

The wind farm is located approximately 8km to the east of Biala and about 14.5 km to the south west of Crookwell.

The Project will span over approximately 1,936 hectares (ha) of rural agricultural land, but the project footprint will only cover a small proportion of the total area (up to 5%). The Project spans over 37 rural agricultural lots, which form part of four separate privately owned land holdings.

The department’s conditions of consent advise that no turbine can be taller than 185m (from blade tip to ground) and that no turbine (except one) is allowed to be moved more than 100m from the GPS coordinates in the proponent Newtricity’s plans. 

This turbine (T29) will be moved at least 350m (and ideally 500m) away from a Wedge-Tailed Eagle nest. 

All existing, non-involved residential dwellings in the vicinity of the wind farm are located in excess of 2 km from proposed wind turbine locations, in accordance with the Draft NSW Planning Guidelines. 

Other conditions of consent include a condition where any resident within 4km of the turbines can ask the proponent to mitigate any visual impact on their property. Ongoing noise monitoring will also occur to ensure the development complies with noise regulations. 

There are also restrictions that no more than 1.5ha of  Tableands Snow Gums, Black Sallee, Candelbark  and Ribbon Gum grassy woodland in the area will be cleared for the development. 

When the wind find was first proposed in 2013, then Upper Lachlan Mayor John Shaw expressed concerns that the shire would soon suffer from wind farm saturation.

“It’s getting towards a bit of a saturation point now,” Mayor Shaw said at the time.

“We didn’t really want to get to the point where we would have a wind tower on every hill, but it’s starting to get to that stage.

“I suppose I’m asking when is enough actually enough?”

TURBINES: The location of the turbines in the proposed Biala Wind Farm

TURBINES: The location of the turbines in the proposed Biala Wind Farm