Jupiter Wind Farm – Environmental and Economic Benefits
The revised Project will provide the following primary benefits, whilst balancing environmental issues and community concerns:
• In full operation the revised Project will generate up to 240MW of electricity which
equates to up to 755 Gigawatt-hour (GWh) per year and is sufficient to power equivalent
to up to 103,400 homes annually (calculated using the NSW Wind Farm Greenhouse Gas
Saving Tool and based on average NSW household electricity consumption).
• Contributing to the additional generating capacity required to meet the growing energy
demand in NSW, and improve security of supply through avoidance of reliance on
electricity supply from other States and diversification of electricity generation sources
and supply locations.
• Reduction in potential visual, noise, biodiversity, heritage, bushfire, and traffic concerns in comparison with the exhibited Project.
• Saving approximately 0.6 Mt of GHG emission in 2020, which is the equivalent of
removing of the order of 183,000 passenger vehicles from NSW roads each year during the
operational life of the Project.
• Contribute towards the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target of ensuring at
least 33,000 GWh of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020.
• Contribute toward the NSW 2021 plan target of 20% renewables energy by 2020.
• provide significant direct investment in the local economy, consisting of an estimated $71 million during construction, and a further $4.8 million per annum during operation.
• Providing direct employment opportunities for an estimated 230 full time staff during
construction, and an estimated 22 staff during its operational life.
• Generating additional economic stimulus in the local area and broader region associated with direct and indirect employment opportunities through the use of local contractors and suppliers during construction, and demand for local services, particularly during construction.
Benefits for the Local Community
The benefits to the local community include additional income streams for host landholders,
neighbouring landholders under the Neighbour Benefit Sharing Program (NBSP), and the broader community under the Community Enhancement Funds (CEF).
Neighbour Benefit Sharing Program (NBSP)
The NBSP is a voluntary offer from EPYC which will comprise agreements made with neighbours which will enable the non-involved landholder to benefit financially from the Project throughout its operational life.
This program was established by EPYC in recognition that the project is long term and it is important to try and extend the benefits from the wind farm in the community as much as possible. This voluntary offer would allow those non-involved landholders with existing dwellings (or DA-approved at the time of EIS) between 1-3 km of a proposed wind turbine to benefit financially if they choose to do so. Those who decide to be part of the program will benefit directly over the life of the Project (25-30 years) with adjustments for CPI annually.
EPYC held benefit sharing workshops in May 2017 and everyone within 3km was invited to attend. The purpose of the workshops was to introduce the details of the updated NBSP and mitigation measure component to the eligible landholders and seek their feedback.
The workshops were quite successful and subsequently the neighbouring agreements were updated following the feedback received from the landholders who attended.
EPYC requested expressions of interest from the eligible landowners for considerations in the NBSP and has extended the period several times based on requests from the community.
The agreement for NBSP were not provided to neighbours without a genuine discussions with them. This approach was encouraged by the Wind Farm Commissioner as it would provide for a better consultation and avoid unnecessary misunderstandings.
Community Enhancement Fund (CEF)
- Establishment of a CEF in consultation with both the Goulburn Mulwaree Council and the Queanbeyan–Palerang Regional Council via a Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA).
- Under the VPA, there will be an annual contribution per installed turbine located within each council. This will increase with CPI over the life of the project.
- The fund will be administered via a S355 committee where the local community members can apply to be part of and decide on how the funds are spent.
- The VPA will provide community benefits over the life of the project (i.e. 25-30 years).
- EPYC proposes that a percentage of the VPA funds allocated are spent for educational purposes including internships and scholarships.
Overall Project Benefits and Positive Impacts
- EPYC has been working towards pursuing options to improve mobile reception in the vicinity of the project site including in the areas of Boro, Mayfield and Duckfield Road. Preliminary discussions have already taken place with Telstra.
- Employment opportunities could be available for skilled trades during the construction phase in the fields of electrical, civil, communications, etc., as well as potential opportunities for local contractors.
- A register of skilled trades and Services for Jupiter Project has been maintained since 2014.
- An increase in revenue for the local services/businesses is anticipated during the construction phase.
- Improvement to the township of Tarago and other localities such as Boro, Lower Boro and Mayfield as a result of contributions to a Community Enhancement Funds (CEF) for the provision and enhancement of community projects, facilities and council funded local infrastructure projects.
- Access tracks between the turbines will improve ground based access for fire fighting efforts near and around the project site.
- Annual income over the life of the project for:
- the hosts participating in the project which is most likely spent locally for services and to improve their lands.
- eligible neighbouring landholders with an existing dwelling or DA approved within 3km of a turbine who have an agreement with the proponent.
Important information and dates
- Given the project has been revised and the Response to Submissions and the Preferred Project Report has recently been in the public domain, EPYC has agreed to extend the time frame for receiving the expressions of interest from the neighbouring community residents for participation in the Benefit Sharing Program.
- Those interested in being considered for NBSP and/or visual mitigation (where applicable) must provide their Expression of Interest (EOI) by Phone or email to EPYC. Taking into consideration the Christmas and New Year period, the deadline was extended until 5 January 2018. The NBSP offer will officially end by 5 February 2018 as advertised in the December 2017 issue of our Community Newsletter (#9).