PROPOSED new wind farm planning guidelines have been described as “out-of-step” by the group looking to start the first community-owned wind farm in NSW.
New England Wind has lodged a submission to the NSW government voicing its concerns about the proposed guidelines.
“New England Wind compliments the NSW government for presenting a clear and thorough set of planning guidelines for wind farms, their continued commitment to the 20 per cent renewable energy target by 2020 and announcement of their work to develop a NSW energy strategy,” a New England Wind statement said.
“However, there are significant concerns about how unfair the guidelines are towards wind farms compared with other energy developments and how restrictive they are for community-owned renewable energy projects.”
New England Wind project director Adam Blakester said the group had “significant concerns about how unfair the guidelines are towards wind farms compared with other energy developments and how restrictive they are for community-owned renewable energy projects”.
“This kind of project, like New England Wind, brings together willing landholders, local investors and organisations to create a small-scale wind farm in a way that is supported and positive, yet the conditions outlined in these guidelines will add costs and uncertainty without any real value for the community.”
Mr Blakester said the guidelines set a different set of rules for wind compared to other energy developments.
New England Wind has called on the NSW government to develop a policy for community projects.
New England Wind says its project could produce half the residential electricity needs of the New England Tablelands.
Submissions closed on March 14 for the Draft NSW Planning Guidelines: Wind Farms.