“This will allow sufficient time for us to go back to the community with the complete results of the technical studies through the follow-up workshops and information days that will be held at the end of January 2014,” said Trustpower Development Manager Rodney Ahern.
The proposed wind farm site, which is in the Mid Murray Council area, is approximately 30km long and located on the ranges between Palmer, Tungkillo and Sanderston.
“The Palmer Wind Farm project team is working hard to complete site survey works and specialist technical studies to address queries raised by the community to date,” Mr Ahern said.
“Although we are keen to lodge the planning application with Mid Murray Council at the earliest opportunity, we are committed to providing feedback to the queries raised at the community workshops that have already taken place.
“It was also important that we accommodate concerns regarding community availability for consultation over the Christmas school holidays.”
“Invitations for the next round of workshops and information days will be sent out in January and people who haven’t yet registered their interest in receiving updates on the Palmer Wind Farm should contact us to ensure they receive details of the next round of consulting activities. Details will also be advertised in the local papers and on our website.”
The feedback and input obtained through community consultation has been provided to the experts conducting the technical studies to ensure they are incorporated.
Mr Ahern said the wind farm layout and design had already been amended to incorporate findings of site investigations and community feedback.
As a result six turbines have been removed from the original layout, with the further relocation of 86 of the remaining 124 turbines. The locations of associated site facilities, transmission lines, on-site tracks and access road options all have been further refined.
“Since the previous community information sessions and workshops, the Palmer Wind Farm project team has continued consulting and informing members of the local community, a range of government departments and other key stakeholders of the project details,” Mr Ahern said.
“We have also commissioned further investigations from our expert consultants on a range of issues, including visual impact.”
For more information please visit the project website www.trustpower.co.nz/palmerwindfarm or www.facebook.com/palmerwindfarm, or contact the Project Team on 1800 648 690.
Trustpower Australia Holdings Pty Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Trustpower Limited, a publicly owned company operating in Australia and New Zealand. It owns and operates primarily renewable energy assets, including 34 hydro stations, four wind farms in New Zealand and two wind farms in South Australia, including the Snowtown Wind Farm Stage 2 currently under construction. Snowtown Wind Farm Stage 1 (48 turbines) has been operating since 2008 with Stage 2 consisting of a further 90 turbines.
Trustpower, which began investigating wind farm sites in Australia in 2001, develops wind farms with the ultimate goal of owning and operating them for the life of the projects. Initial efforts focused on the South Australia region, due to its strong wind resource and proximity to transmission and load centres. Trustpower is also investigating wind generation opportunities in four other Australian states.