Project Approval and Documents
Biala Wind Farm was granted Development Approval (Consent) from the NSW Planning Assessment Commission on 12th April 2017. The Development Consent was granted under the provisions of section 89E of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (1979).
The following key terms are important when reading this page:
- DA – Development Approval (or Consent)
- DPIE – NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
- EPA – Environmental Protection Authority
- EPL – Environmental Protection Licence (as issued by the EPA)
For details of documents considered by DPIE when the wind farm was approved, please visit the DPIE website by clicking here. The link includes the Environmental Assessment (EA) and the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Project.
Certain conditions set out in the DA require the production of strategies, management plans, programs, monitoring and reports. The table below summarises each of these conditions and provides links to download these documents. Please refer to the Development Approval in conjunction with this table. The Development Approval can be downloaded here.
The Development Approval (DA) for the wind farm does not include the infrastructure required to connect the wind farm to the electricity network. The DA for an underground 33kV electricity connection to the existing Gullen Range Wind Farm substation can be viewed here. An extension to the Gullen Range Wind Farm substation formed part of the application. More information about the transmission line can be found below.
|DA Condition||Document for download||Description|
|2.16 – Community Enhancement Fund||Community Enhancement Fund (CEF)||Voluntary Planning Agreement defining how the Community Enhancement Fund works|
|2.9 – Final Layout Plans||Final Layout Plans||Final layout plans for turbine locations and connecting tracks|
|3.1 – Visual Impact Mitigation||Landscaping Program Eligibility Map||Biala Wind Farm Landscaping Program has been designed to mitigate the visual impacts of the wind farm in line with the requirements of the wind farm’s development consent for neighbours within 4km of a wind turbine.|
|3.20 – Biodiversity Management Plan||Biodiversity Management Plan||Detailed plan to ensure minimal disruption to the biodiversity of the Project area.|
|3.21 – Bird and Bat Adaptive Management Plan||Bird and Bat Adaptive Management Plan||Plan describing how bird and bat monitoring will be completed and how to minimise potential impacts on local species.|
|Bird and Bat Adaptive Management Plan Reports: First Annual Report||Reports on the Implementation of the Bird and Bat Adaptive Management Plan|
|3.23 –Heritage Management Plan||Heritage Management Plan||Plan prepared in consultation with Aboriginal stakeholders to minimise the disturbance.|
|3.28 – Traffic Management Plan||Traffic Management Plan (Stage 1)||Defines the measures to be implemented to ensure traffic safety throughout the ‘Balance of Plant’ (BoP) civil and electrical works component of the project.|
|Traffic Management Plan (Stage 2)||Defines the measures to be implemented to ensure traffic safety throughout the turbine delivery and installation works component of the project.|
|3.29 – Aviation||Aviation Light Map||A map of the aviation lights installed at Biala Wind Farm in accordance with the direction of the Aviation Authorities and DPIE.
The Department of Defence required eighteen turbines to have a steady red light on top of the nacelle which is to be illuminated from dusk to 11pm Eastern Standard Time, or midnight Daylight Saving Time. These were switched off in 2021.
|3.31 – Radiocommunications||TV Reception Program Map||Biala Wind Farm has introduced a TV reception program, aimed at improving TV reception for nearby residents. The program is available to residents regardless of whether or not their reception has been affected by the Biala Wind Farm.|
|4.1 – Environmental Management Strategy||Environmental Management Strategy||The strategic framework for environmental management of the project.|
|4.3 – Community Consultative Committee||Details of Independent Chair||The independent chair of the committee is Nic Carmody, as appointed by the DPIE in June 2015. This describes Nic’s professional background.|
|4.6 – Independent Environmental Audit||Independent Environmental Audit and response||Independent audits are required to ensure compliance with the project approval.|
|4.9 – Complaints||Complaints Register||A register of complaints received about the wind farm, updated monthly; An Issue and Response register maintained prior to October 2017 can be found below.|
Biala Wind Farm operates under an Environmental Protection Licence (EPL) issued by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
The current EPL can be downloaded here.
Certain conditions of the EPL require Biala Wind Farm to prepare reports or undertake testing. The table below summarises these conditions and provides links to download relevant documents:
|EPL Condition||Document for download
|EPL General||PIRMP||The EPA requires the wind farm to have a Pollution Incident Response Management Plan, updated annually.|
|EPL R1||Statement of Compliance||The EPA requires an Annual Return – Statement of Compliance to be submitted for each annual reporting period.|
The Development Approval for the wind farm does not include the infrastructure required to connect the wind farm to the electricity network.
In 2017, Biala Wind Farm submitted a Development Application for an underground transmission line to connect the Biala Wind Farm with BJCE Australia’s existing substation at Gullen Range Wind Farm. The underground transmission line allows Biala Wind Farm’s electricity to be passed on to the national electricity grid at Gullen Range Wind Farm. This is a very low impact method of connecting Biala Wind Farm to the electricity grid for the following reasons:
- The connection route is much shorter than other available options.
- The connection would be installed using underground cable rather than overhead line proposed for other connection options.
- The connection does not require construction of a new substation or switching station, as it utilises the existing facilities at Gullen Range Wind Farm. An extension is required to the substation at Gullen Range Wind Farm, but this is a much smaller amount of land compared to a new substation.
The Development Application was approved by the Southern Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) subject to conditions. The approval and conditions were subsequently issued by the Upper Lachlan Shire Council.
The JRPP held public meetings in March 2018 and January 2019 before determining the application. Information was exhibited publicly and the JRPP had NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment conduct a review of Upper Lachlan Shire Council’s assessment report. The approval issued by Upper Lachlan Shire Council can be downloaded here.
Historical Responses to Community Feedback
The following Issues and Responses Register was maintained by Newtricity Developments Pty Ltd (Newtricity) prior to the acquisition of Biala Wind Farm by BJCE: