Newtricity Developments Woolbrook Pty Ltd is an Australian owned company with investors from Ireland. The investors were previously involved in a company called Airtricity prior to its sale in 2008. During the period of their involvement Airtricity was an Irish based wind farm developer, owner and operator. Airtricity developed and built many wind farms in Ireland, Scotland, and the United States of America – including the following:
- Culliagh, Corneen, Bindoo, Midas, Richfield, Coomatalin, Meentycat, Mullananalt, Gartnaneane, Kings Mountain, Coomacheo, Tournafulla and Tournafulla Phase II wind farm developments in the Republic of Ireland;
- Tappaghan and Bin Mountain wind farms in Northern Ireland;
- Minsca, Ardrossan and Dalswinton wind farms in Scotland; and
- Forest Creek and Sand Bluff wind farms in Texas, USA.
The project is currently in the concept development stage and is now moving into the detailed design stage, where the final number and location of wind turbines will be determined. The placement of wind turbines will be subject to environmental, social and engineering considerations. At this stage up to 30 wind turbines are likely to be proposed as part of the wind farm.
There are 3 separate land holdings within the proposed site. The 3 landholdings are privately owned and Newtricity have entered into long term lease arrangements for the placement of wind turbines and other associated infrastructure on the site for the life of the project.
Newtricity Developments Woolbrook Pty Ltd will make a final decision in respect to constructing the wind farm once all the necessary approvals are in place. They will consider a joint partner to build the wind farm or on-sell the lease to another wind farm company.
The proposed project will include a detailed Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which will require approval from the Department of Planning and Environment. The EIS will include a range of specialist reports, addressing items such as noise, visual impacts and health issues. There is no current evidence that suggests that wind farms are detrimental to the health of people.
A full environmental assessment and approval is required by law before any development can proceed. Environmental investigations have commenced with site visits in September and October 2012. The next step is to commence the detailed Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), following the guidelines set out in the Director General Requirements which were issued in January 2014. Once the environmental assessment is completed it will then be submitted to the NSW DP&E for consideration. The proposed Woolbrook windfarm project is currently on hold. Further updates will be notified via the website.
The proposed wind farm will be subject to a State Significant Development (SSD) application to the Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E). The SSD application is required to be accompanied by a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The SSD application is determined by the DP&E, or its nominated panel such as the Planning and Assessment Commission. State agencies such as the Office of Environment and Heritage, Environmental Protection Agency, Roads and Maritime Service and Upper Lachlan Council will also be consulted during the assessment of the SSD application.
Ongoing community and stakeholder consultation will include a range of actions designed to actively engage the local community and seek input and feedback into the Project. Updates will be posted on the project website as more information becomes available. Community members can also approach representatives from the CCC as a two-way conduit for information about the Project or representations to the Proponent.
Yes, whilst Newtricity will actively seek community feedback on the proposed wind farm prior to submission of the State Significant Development Application (SSD) to the State Government, public exhibition of the SSD will also be undertaken by the Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E) for a period of not less than 60 days. Any person will be able to make a submission to DP&E at that time.