Jupiter Wind Farm
Background Information and Facts
The Jupiter Wind Farm is a State Significant Development that will have the potential to generate up to 350 megawatts of electricity, which is enough clean energy to power up approximately, 150,000 homes. It is EPYC’s most advanced wind farm project in Australia and, if approved, will contribute significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The proposed project area for the Jupiter Wind Farm is located in the Southern Tablelands region of NSW, approximately 40km from Goulburn and 6km south-east of the Tarago township. The site extends south along the Braidwood-Goulburn Road and beyond the Kings Highway. It is situated across two Local Government Areas; Goulburn Mulwaree and Palerang. A large portion of the area under investigation is clear and predominantly used for grazing and other agricultural activities. This location was identified by specialist consultants as a prospective wind farm development site based on its potential wind regime, accessibility to the electricity grid, as well as the road access to the area.
The project received the Director General’s Requirements (DGR), now known as the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEAR), in January 2014. The development proposal for Jupiter Wind Farm as stated in the DGR/SEARs included 100 wind turbine generators, however through assessment and consultation this number has been reduced to 88 turbines with the capacity to generate up to 350MW of electricity. More information regarding the DGR/SEARs can be found on the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E) website.
The proposed wind farm, if approved, will generate significant economic activity within the region during the construction and operational phase, with an expected capital investment value of approximately $300 million. Local infrastructure improvements and other community infrastructure facilities will form part of the project.
Due to the estimated size and cost of the proposed wind farm project it is recognized as a State Significant Development (SSD) under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act).
The proposed project area originally under investigation for the Jupiter Wind Farm was approximately 12,000 hectares. Following the finalization of the project boundary, the area under investigation has been reduced to approximately 5,000 hectares.
Detailed assessments was undertaken in accordance with the revised SEARs received in March 2016. These assessments covered the project area as well as the surrounding areas in order to enable a comprehensive investigation, which lead to preparation of a detailed Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the relevant technical reports. Following an adequacy review by the DPE, the EIS was found to have adequately addressed the revised SEARs and has now been placed on Public Exhibition. The Public Exhibition period is from Wednesday November 30th, 2016 until February 15th, 2017. Hard copies of the EIS are made available at local council offices. The EIS can also be accessed via the DPE’s Major Project’s website as well as the links provided below.
Consultation was undertaken during January and February 2017 and will continue as required. Workshops for discussions around updated voluntary neighbor benefit sharing program were held in May 2017. EPYC would like to thanks those members of the community who participated in the sessions and for their valuable feedback.
EPYC and their consultants have reviewed and are currently working towards addressing the submissions received from both public and the governmental agencies. Once this work is completed it will submitted to the DPE for their review. In turn the responses will be accessible via the DPE’s Major Project’s website as well as on EPYC’s project website.
A map of the Jupiter wind farm with 88 proposed wind turbines and related infrastructure can be found here.
Response to Submissions and Preferred Project Report (RtS-PPR)
Following a detailed review and in response to the submissions received during the public exhibition period of the Jupiter EIS, the layout and design of the Project were amended to reduce the environmental impacts and address the issues raised in submissions. Consequently, a Response to Submissions and Preferred Project Report (RtS-PPR) was submitted to the Department of Planning and Environment in September 2017.
A summary of the changes made to the Project in response to the submissions received during the public exhibition period is provided in the RTS-PPR. The key changes are:
- a reduction in the Project Area from 4,999ha to 4,135ha resulting from the removal of the portion of the Project Area previously identified as the southern precinct;
- a reduction in the number of wind turbine generators (WTGs) from 88 to 54 (see the latest map) ;
- of the 54 WTGs remaining in the Project:
- 40 WTGs and associated access tracks and cabling remain in the locations previously assessed and are accordingly unchanged; and
- 14 WTGs and associated access tracks and cabling have been slightly relocated (by less than 100m) to further reduce impacts;
- the transmission line which connected the southern precinct to the central section has been deleted as a result of the removal of the southern precinct;
- a reduction of the operational development footprint from 86.3ha to 53.75ha; and
- a reduction in the number of temporary construction compounds from three to two.
The RtS and PPR can be accessed via the DPE’s Major Project’s website as well as the links provided below.
The layout and design of the project has been amended to reduce the environmental impacts across the full suite of technical areas and in response to issues raised in the submissions received.
The changes made have significantly reduced the visual, noise, ecological and heritage-related impacts associated with the construction and operation of the Jupiter project.