Gelliondale Wind planning permit application submitted

An artist's impression of what the proposed Gelliondale Wind Farm could look like.Image: File

Tom Parry

AN application for a planning permit for the Gelliondale Wind Farm project, near Yarram, has been submitted to the state government.

Synergy Wind is spearheading the wind project, with managing director Adam Gray welcoming the move.

“We are pleased to have submitted our application for a planning permit for the Gelliondale Wind Farm following detailed planning and technical investigations and environmental assessments,” Mr Gray said in a statement.

“Our engagement with neighbouring properties and the broader community has been robust and we look forward to continuing to provide updates as we move through the planning permit application process.”

Mr Gray added that the full suite of supporting studies accompanying the application are now available on the project website, which can be viewed via gelliondalewind.com/supporting-studies/

Further updates on the assessment processes will be provided via the website, with links to relevant government resources, “as soon as they are established”.

The planning permit application follows a referral to the federal government under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

If approved under its current guise, the wind farm will consist of 13 turbines across 1500 hectares of cleared agricultural land and ancillary infrastructure, including a battery energy storage system and substation.

The site will be located around seven kilometres south-west of Yarram, three kilometres west of Alberton and eight kilometres east of Welshpool.

Developers anticipate the wind farm will have a total capacity of about 80 megawatts, and generate about 300,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy annually. This equates to enough electricity to power “up to 37,000 homes” with clean renewable energy each year.

Around 50 jobs will be created during the construction phase, with 10 ongoing permanent positions thereafter.

Developers are committed to sharing the benefits with the community in “a number of ways”.

As part of their commitment, developers have pledge to establish a grants program to support local landholders neighbouring the site as well as community projects.

The fund will distribute “between $160,000 and $240,000 a year” among neighbours and community organisations.

Additionally, a draft Gelliondale Wind Farm Community Benefit Program has been developed for consultation with the community and other stakeholders.

Development of the Gelliondale Wind Farm is being supported by RWE Renewables Australia.

A spokesperson for RWE told the Gippsland Times that the company will support Synergy Wind through the final stages of the project’s development, with the intention of acquiring the project and progressing through to construction and operation.

Long term, RWE plans to operate the project, producing green electricity to support the transition away from fossil fuel energy while implementing a framework for successful partnerships with local communities.