MEDIA RELEASE: Yass Valley Wind Farm Approved by PAC
The Planning Assessment Commission approved the Yass Valley Wind Farm on 30 March 2016, marking the end of the project’s lengthy journey through the planning assessment process.
The Yass Valley Wind Farm, located north of the Hume Highway and 35 km west of Yass, has 79 wind turbines located along its Coppabella ridges which have an excellent wind resource and nearby grid connection. This wind farm has the potential to be a key contributor to the energy supply of NSW and will assist significantly in the reduction of the State’s emissions.
We again thank the community, particularly the involved landowners and local business and community leaders, for their ongoing support and patience, which has been rewarded by this approval.
Epuron looks forward to the Yass Valley Wind Farm progressing to construction as swiftly as possible to capture the full benefits such projects can bring to regional communities.
This approval for the 79 wind turbines of the Coppabella precinct will deliver clean renewable electricity and significant greenhouse gas reductions, although the reduction in number of turbines from 124 reduces the available benefits of the full wind farm by approximately 36%. The greenhouse gas reductions available from the project will help Australia meet its commitments made at the November 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Paris.
The approved 79 wind turbines of the Yass Valley Wind Farm have the potential to:
• generate 623 gigawatt hours (GWh) of clean electricity per annum, enough power for 85,300 homes;
• save 2.1 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 alone (1);
• bring jobs and opportunity into the region from a ~ $400 million investment; and
• provide local community benefits via a community fund of $2,500 per wind turbine, or up to $197,000 per annum if all turbines are built.
Martin Poole, Executive Director, said: “Emissions in NSW from stationary energy will continue to be significant while its electricity generation is over 80% fuelled by coal (2). It’s time to deliver on the NSW Renewable Energy Action Plan. NSW must start to proactively capture the important jobs and investment from large scale wind energy projects which to date have mainly been secured by other States” said Mr Poole. “Planning Minster Rob Stokes famously said when he was Environment Minister: “When it comes to clean energy we (NSW) can be Australia’s answer to California” and Epuron believes he was right. Political will and a stable investment landscape can deliver a new energy order for the State. It is now time for the NSW Government to detail exactly how this will be achieved” Mr Poole added.
For more information contact: Executive Director Martin Poole 0411 159 114
Founded in 2003, Epuron is a leading, privately-owned Australian renewable energy company with a focus on development of wind farms and solar power stations. Epuron is one of Australia's most successful wind farm developers. It has developed the highest yielding, largest, and largest number of wind farms in NSW. Operational wind farms developed by Epuron include Cullerin Range (built, owned and operated by Origin Energy) and Gullen Range Wind Farm (built, owned and operated by Goldwind Australia). The White Rock Wind Farm near Glen Innes was developed by Epuron and acquired by Goldwind Australia and is expected to enter into construction shortly. Epuron has a number of other wind farm projects in various stages of development. In solar energy, Epuron’s focus is megawatt-scale power generation in both grid-connected and off-grid markets. Epuron developed, built, owns and operates the TKLN Solar project which comprises three high penetration solar power stations in remote communities in the NT and displaces diesel power generation. Epuron also owns and operates the 4.1MW Uterne Solar Power Plant near Alice Springs and is currently building a 1.8MW solar power station at Yulara – Ayer’s Rock Resort, to be completed in April 2016. Epuron’s total solar portfolio capacity including Yulara is 7 megawatts with a number of additional projects in the pipeline.
About Yass Valley Wind Farm
The Yass Valley Wind Farm has been under development since 2009. When first conceived, the project included more than 150 wind turbines. Through a number of refinements based on feedback from the community, expert consultants and government stakeholders, the size of the project was reduced by the proponent to 124 wind turbines The NSW Department of Planning and Environment was responsible for assessment of the project and for making a recommendation to the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC), the consent authority for this project. In February 2015 the Department recommended refusal of the project. Epuron then presented PAC with its response to the Departments recommendation. In April 2015 the PAC subsequently returned the application to the Department requesting it to review its report and recommendations. The Department provided a revised recommendation to PAC for determination in February 2016.
For more information, visit www.epuron.com.au
1 NSW Wind Farm Greenhouse Gas Savings Tool (based on a study published in 2010)