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MEDIA RELEASE: Yass Valley Wind Farm Recommended for Approval

MEDIA RELEASE

Epuron welcomes the recommendation for approval of the Yass Valley Wind Farm by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, with the NSW Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) now in a position to make its final determination.

We thank the community, particularly the involved landowners and local business leaders, for their ongoing support for this sustainable energy project.

At its proposed capacity of 124 turbines, the Yass Valley Wind Farm has the potential to:

  • generate 975 gigawatt hours (GWh) of clean electricity per annum, enough power for 133,500 homes;
  • save ~ 1 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year and 3.3 million tonnes by 2020;
  • bring jobs and opportunity into the region from a $620 million investment; and
  • provide local community benefits via a community fund of $2,500 per wind turbine, or more than $300,000 per annum if all turbines are built.

The greenhouse gas reductions available from the project will be very significant, and will help Australia meet its commitments made at the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Paris.

Epuron has carried out detailed environmental assessments of this project over a number of years. Independent experts have assessed the project and found the impacts acceptable. The project was received well by the local community on the two occasions that the environmental assessment was exhibited. All concerns raised during the consultation process have been addressed.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment recommendation represents a significant reduction in scale of the project, from 124 turbines down to 79. We are yet to review the basis of this reduction which is difficult to accept given the community support the project has received. Despite the recommendation to limit approval of the project to the Coppabella Precinct alone, we are pleased that the Yass Valley Wind Farm will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation in NSW.

Martin Poole, Executive Director said: “It’s time to deliver on the NSW Renewable Energy Action Plan. We are keen to contribute to NSW capturing the important jobs and investment from large scale renewable energy projects which have mainly been secured by other states. It is important that NSW demonstrates its commitment to maximising the local jobs and expertise that flow from the transition to a cleaner electricity sector.”

Epuron looks forward to a positive determination by the PAC early in 2016.