Monday, 26 September 2011

Wind farm plan for comment

Adelaide Advertiser
21 Sep 2011, Page: 63

PLANS for a new wind farm near Naracoorte in the South-East have been referred to the Federal Environment Department for public comment until September 29.

ACCIONA Energy lodged early environment assessment work under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC), with field surveys showing two listed species were likely to use the potential project site. An EBS Ecology report lodged with the department referred to the South-East Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo and the Southern Bent-wing Bat.

However, it said the proposed Exmoor wind farm footprint would be "a very small" portion of the 4612ha project site 15km north of Naracoorte. The report also said Spanish owned ACCIONA Energy was committed to creating a 200m buffer from potential cockatoo feeding habitat in its final wind farm layout, and a 100m buffer for potential bat foraging habitat. "An assessment against the Commonwealth's Significant Impact Assessment Guidelines indicated the wind farm was unlikely to have a significant impact on the species", the report said. Following public comment, the Department advises whether or not formal assessment and approval under the EPBC Act is required.

An ACCIONA Energy spokesman said the company had begun initial investigations into the site "which may have potential for wind power". "An environmental survey of the area has been conducted and the findings from this will be considered as part of a referral submitted to the Commonwealth, in accordance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act", he said.