Tract Consultants, on behalf of Union Fenosa Wind Australia Pty Ltd, prepared and lodged a comprehensive Environmental Assessment to support a planning application for the construction and operation of a wind energy facility known as the Crookwell 3 Wind Farm in NSW.
The Crookwell 3 Wind Farm is a major project aimed at providing renewable energy into the national electricity market. Renewable energy, such as wind generated electricity, meets Federal, State and Local Government objectives of reducing greenhouse emissions and mitigating the impacts of climate change.
Environmentally, the wind farm would displace between up to 209,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases and provide 33,000 households with electricity per year. Economically, the wind farm would invest $90 - $110 million into the economy and create 46 jobs. Socially, the wind farm would fund community enhancement projects, upgrade local roads, assist in addressing the population decline, and position the area as a leader in renewable energy industries.
The wind farm site has an area of 1,500 ha, and is located approximately 17km south east of Crookwell, in the southern tablelands of NSW.
The wind farm application includes 30 individual wind turbines of up to 152 metres tall with a capacity of up to 3.4 megawatts (MW) each. The wind farm has a peak generating capacity of up to 102 MW. The development also includes operational infrastructure, upgrades to local road infrastructure and vegetation removal and planting.
Tract has extensive experience in preparing comprehensive Environmental Assessment reports for wind energy facilities, which include:
- project and proponent description,
- site and context analysis,
- an assessment of the project against local, regional, state and commonwealth guidelines and legislation,
- statements on the importance of renewable energy facilities and the international, national and local renewable energy context,
- project justification, including environmental, environmental and social impacts and benefits,
- summaries of specialist consultant assessments,
- a hazards and risk assessment, and
- the preparation of plans, maps and graphic material.
A team of consultants were engaged to assess the proposed Crookwell 3 Wind Farm and its impacts and benefits. Tract played a key role in managing and coordinating these consultants.
Tract also prepared newsletters to the local community about the proposed wind farm and the status of the application, and attended the Community Information Day to discuss the project with interested members of the community and other stakeholders.
Tract also prepared a series of Information Day posters for public exhibition which provided information to the community and stakeholders about the project and the specialist consultant findings.