SECTION 1: The Jupiter Wind Farm
What is the status of the Jupiter Wind Farm?
The Jupiter Wind Farm has been recognized as a State Significant Development. This project will have the potential to generate electricity in the form of clean energy to power up homes and generate economical benefit for the hosts and the neighboring land owners in the form of annual income over the life of the project.The community as a whole will also benefit through jobs opportunities during construction and operation of the project as well as through the Community Enhancement Funds that will be made available via a S-355 committee formed and assigned to oversee the use of the funds for the benefit of community. The exact details of the Community Enhancement Funds will be made available following further consultation with the council as required by the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE).
Environmental Resource Management (ERM) was engaged to undertake a detailed investigation of series of environmental studies originally in accordance with the Director General’s Requirements (DGR) and the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s (DP&E) Draft Wind Farm Guidelines. They later continued their assessment under the revised Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) received in March 2016. These studies are an essential component in the preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to be lodged for the Jupiter project.
The Jupiter project was on exhibition from November 30th, 2016 until February 15th, 2017. This period was extended due to wild fires in the area for those who were affected by the fires and those who were involved in the fire fighting efforts. The exhibition period was completed on March 1st, 2017.
EPYC and their consultants have reviewed and are currently working towards addressing the submissions from both public and the governmental agencies. Once this work is completed it will submitted to the DPE. In turn the responses will be accessible via the DPE’s Major Project’s website as well as on EPYC’s project website for public.
What are the next steps in the consultation process?
We are continuing to consult with and inform the community about the progress of the Jupiter Wind Farm, a process that commenced in March 2012. We have met with land holders in the area and other stakeholders regularly since this time. Five newsletters have been distributed to the community and made available on our website and two community information sessions have been organised so far. Regular newsletter updates will continue to form part of the extensive community consultation process.
The feedback we have been collecting from the community and other stakeholders is being considered throughout the development process and assessment studies.
Since August 2015, under the direction of the DP&E, the Community Consultative Committee (CCC) meetings have commenced. These meetings involve community members, representatives of the local councils and representatives of the project team. A number of meetings have been held to date and regular meetings will occur in the future.
We encourage everyone interested in the project to have their say as part of the consultation process. Simply contact one of the CCC members or contact us directly at:
EPYC PTY LTD
PO BOX 549
CHATSWOOD NSW 2067
Phone:1800 750 746
Once the DA has been lodged it will go on exhibition for 60 days. The community will again be encouraged to provide feedback at this time.
What is the Community Consultative Committee (CCC)? Who is on it?
The CCC is a consultative body representing a broad range of community interests related to the project’s assessment, environmental performance and its ongoing operation.
The purpose of the CCC is to provide a forum for open discussion between the project team, the community, Council and other key stakeholders. The CCC is responsible for keeping the community regularly informed about the progress of the project. Should the project be granted approval to proceed, the CCC will continue to meet during the construction phase and throughout the operational phase of the project.
It is made up of an independent chairperson; seven representatives of the local community and other stakeholders, including at least two representatives of land owners with properties within 2km of a proposed turbine; one representative of each local council; and two to three EPYC representatives. For more information on the CCC refer to the NSW Draft Wind Farm Guidelines-Appendix C.
When will locals start seeing some benefits?
We aim to commence construction of the wind farm in 2017/18 and anticipated that the wind farm will be operational in 2019.
There will be numerous benefits to the local area before then. These range from employment for people and local contractors during construction, ongoing employment opportunities during operation, flow on economic benefits for local businesses such as accommodation providers, cafes and hotels, improvements to local roads and infrastructure, and financial investment in the local community and nearby towns and centers.
The establishment of the community enhancement fund will be another important benefit to the local community.
What is the plan for the community enhancement fund?
One of the benefits from the proposed Jupiter Wind Farm is the establishment of a community enhancement fund (CEF). This fund will be introduced upon completion of construction and aims to provide opportunities for the local community to put towards various community based projects. As part of this process, a committee will be established to oversee the distribution of funds.
SECTION 2: WIND FARMS – Frequently asked questions
How are the locations for wind turbines decided?
The development of wind farms is very complex and there are many technical, environmental, social and economic factors to consider.
In NSW, the Department of Planning and Environment’s (DP&E) Draft Wind Farm Guidelines outlines the various studies that must be undertaken. Independent experts also play an important role.
Wind farms are typically large and are therefore best located in rural areas. Some country areas are recognized specifically as being ideal for wind farms based on the available wind resources.
The key factors that determine the best locations for turbines include the wind regime and the terrain and topography of the land. Sophisticated analytical software is used to determine the optimum locations for turbines.
This software takes into consideration various constraints in order to determine the best locations for turbines on the site. Examples of constraints include areas of heavy vegetation, proximity to residences and proximity to roads.
A combination of these scientific studies and the community consultation that occurs from the outset, through the approval process and beyond, enables the most suitable locations for turbines to be determined.
However, the proposed location of turbines is not finalized until all the assessments have been completed. For instance, a specific assessment may require an adjustment in a turbine location, and this could lead to further studies in other areas to ensure that the new location is suitable.
Are wind farms compatible with farming?
All around the world, wind farms co-exist with farming operations. Turbines occupy a very small area.
What are the health impacts of wind farms?
Wind is one of the most important clean energy resources in the world and is crucial to reducing greenhouse gas emissions not only in Australia but worldwide. A cleaner climate can have positive health benefits for people all over the world.
Wind turbines make some noise as they generate energy, so it is necessary to ensure that turbines are placed in suitable locations with consideration of the turbine size, type and the environmental factors. Comprehensive investigation should be conducted to ensure suitable turbine locations.
In March 2014, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) released its official position on wind farms as they relate to health. The Association concluded that there is no evidence that wind farms cause any adverse health effects.