NSW Department of Planning and Environment

The Department of Planning and Environment today referred the Bango Wind Farm application to the independent Planning Assessment Commission for final decision, finding that the scaled-back plans could be approved subject to conditions.


Mike Young, Director of Resource and Energy Assessments, said the Department thoroughly assessed the merits of the project, proposed for a site between Yass and Boorowa in the Southern Tablelands of NSW.


“During the assessment process, CWP Renewables removed 47 turbines from the original 122 turbine plan, to reduce the impacts on the local community and the environment,” Mr Young said.


“The Department has also recommended that four additional turbines be removed to further reduce visual impacts on local residents, making a total of 71 turbines recommended for approval.


“Overall, the Department found that the changes to the project would strike an appropriate balance between maximising the use of the site’s wind resources and minimising impacts on the local community and environment.”


The potential benefits of the proposal include the creation of around 160 construction jobs, contributions to Hilltops and Yass Valley Councils worth around $200,000 per year, and the generation of 240 megawatts of renewable energy every year - enough to power about 117,000 homes.


Mr Young added that considering community feedback and independent advice was integral to the assessment process.


“Department officers visited the site numerous times to better understand the issues raised in submissions. We also met with landowners and locals, held a public meeting, and attended Community Consultative Committee meetings,” Mr Young said.


“We also commissioned an independent expert to consider the potential impacts to views for residents, in addition to the potential cumulative impacts of the previously approved Rye Park Wind Farm proposed for a nearby area.”


The Department has also recommended strict conditions to minimise potential impacts of the project on the local community and the environment.


Proposed conditions include requiring the company to provide landscaping at residences within four kilometres of any turbines, upgrade and maintain local roads, and meet noise limits.


The Department received 89 submissions from the community and public interest groups during the public exhibition of the plans. More than half the submissions objected to the project raising the potential impacts to views for residents, noise, biodiversity, and traffic.


The independent Planning Assessment Commission will hold a public meeting in the local area and review the Department’s assessment before making a final decision.


Read the Department’s assessment report and recommended conditions for Bango Wind Farm at the Major Projects website.