Epuron is a signatory to the Clean Energy Council’s Best Practice Charter for Renewable Energy Projects, a voluntary commitment to engage respectfully with communities, be sensitive to environmental and cultural values, and make a positive contribution to the regions in which we operate. We also recognise the importance of earning social licence for the project, which has been defined as a "level of acceptance or approval continually granted to an organisation's operations or project by the local community" (Boutilier and Thomson).
We aim to address concerns in a timely manner and where practicable incorporate community input to deliver improved project outcomes and lasting benefits.
Community Enhancement Fund
The Bowmans Creek Wind Farm will involve a range of benefits to provide a meaningful and lasting contribution to residents and property owners in the local community.
The project involves a Community Enhancement Fund with an industry leading commitment of $3,400 per installed wind turbine per year for the life of the wind farm, indexed to CPI. Based on the proposed layout of 56 wind turbines and an expected project life of 30 years, this amounts to at least $190,400 per year, and more than $5 million over the life of the project to support local initiatives and projects.
Neighbour benefit sharing initiatives also ensure that those living within 5 km of wind turbines will receive a direct benefit throughout the operational life the wind farm.
Property owners with a dwelling located within 3 km of an installed wind turbine are eligible for a Neighbour Agreement which involves an annual payment based on the number of wind turbines within 3 km radius from their dwelling.
Those with a dwelling within 5 km from an installed wind turbine (where no other agreement exists) are invited to participate in the project's Neighbour Benefit Program, offering annual rebates on electricity charges as follows:
- Residents of properties within 4 km will be eligible for an annual rebate of $1,000 on their household electricity costs.
- Residents of properties between 4 - 5 km will be eligible for an annual rebate of $500 on their household electricity costs.
Eligibility is subject to the final wind turbine layout, which will be determined following the development approval, and rebates will commence from when the wind farm starts operating. Participating in the program does not prevent residents from expressing their views on the project, privately or publicly, at any time.
Community Consultative Committee
Throughout the planning and assessment phase a Community Consultative Committee (CCC) provided an important forum for discussion between the project team and the local community. The role of a CCC for State significant projects in NSW is outlined in the Department of Planning and Environment's CCC information page and CCC Guidelines. The Bowmans Creek Wind Farm CCC was chaired by William Paradice AM and helped to ensure local residents and stakeholders were:
- Kept informed of the status of the project
- Consulted on plans and proposed changes
- Able to provide feedback on any issues that arose
Minutes from CCC meetings are available below:
The CCC has been deactivated and it is anticipated that if the project is approved it will be re-established prior to construction.
Epuron issues project update newsletters in both mail and email formats. To sign up for email newsletters register here. To receive newsletters by mail please email the project team with your name, postal address and a request to be added to the mailing list.
Download copies of previous updates via the links below.
Input from community members is welcome and valued. Questions and comments can be emailed to the project team.