Mt Fyans Wind Farm project
Woolnorth Wind Farms is pleased to announce the development of the Mt Fyans Wind Farm.
The proposed farm site is located at the centre of Victoria’s western plains, 5 kilometres north of Mortlake, on the Mortlake-Ararat Road. The wind farm will be located on privately owned grazing and farm land across 14 properties. Woolnorth is seeking Planning Approval for a wind farm that will consist of a maximum of 84 turbines with a maximum blade tip height of 200 metres.
The Mt Fyans Wind Farm is aiming to have its PLANNING APPLICATION submitted to the Minister for Planning, the relevant authority in Victoria, within the near future. The design of the project has evolved over time to enable it to have a sufficient level of wind generation, and to comply with environmental and planning requirements.
First Quarter 2017
The project is now entering a phase of public consultation and formal planning approval. Towards mid-2017 a report will be submitted to the Victorian government’s Minister for Planning who will then decide if an assessment under the Environmental Effects Act 1978 (EES) is required.
Woolnorth will host a Public Display in Mortlake early to mid-year. The display will give residents (who have not yet spoken with us) the chance to talk with our staff face-to-face. It will also provide community members with the opportunity to view some of our visual and interactive resources.
While not a formal requirement of the approval process, we will be detailing our community engagement activities and the feedback we have received in the EES report. We look forward to your comments.
Second Quarter 2017
After a successful public display on 5-6 May 2017 at the Olivine Café, Mortlake, Woolnorth Wind Farms continues its community engagement campaign. We’ve done our best to reach out to Mortlake and Moyne Shire residents, with over 1,000 letters sent to those within proximity to the Mt Fyans site.
Information at the display included a site map, photomontage, environmental and heritage considerations and other general information about the proposed development. Our panels from the display are available here:
Third & Fourth Quarters 2017
Green light for Mt Fyans wind farm environmental assessment
The Victorian Planning Minister has decided an Environmental Effects Statement is not required for the Mt Fyans wind farm. This decision is a major endorsement of the environmental and heritage sensitivity of the project.
The requirement is waived as long as Woolnorth conducts further assessments for two species - the Southern Bentwing Bat and the BasaltRustyhood orchid. We are working with the Victorian Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning on these extra assessments.
Ramping up community engagement
Woolnorth Wind Farms has unveiled a variety of initiatives aimed at promoting communication and minimising impacts of its proposed MtFyans wind farm on neighbours, including:
- TV and radio reception monitoring both before and after construction;
- Off-site landscaping to reduce the visibility of turbines;
- Monitoring background noise levels at selected sites; and
- Neighbour Communication Agreements.
Further details on these initiatives are provided in our latest newsletter, and in hard-copy in the Mortlake Information Centre. Residents in the Mortlake and District community can also expect to receive a copy of the newsletter in their mailboxes in the coming weeks.
Woolnorth will consider ways to share the project’s benefits with the broader community closer to construction. A public display and information event will take place in the first quarter of next year.
First, Second & Third Quarters 2018
Mt Fyans Wind Farm Planning Application Preparation
Work throughout the early stages of 2018 centred on preparation of the Planning Application following the decision by the Victorian Planning Minister that an Environmental Effects Statement was not required for Mt Fyans. The core of this work consisted of further design and development of the project, preparation of reports for the planning application and stakeholder engagement.
The development has been an interactive process that incorporates a wide range of cultural, environmental, heritage and social considerations. With numerous ecological and cultural studies across the site completed, a number of exclusion zones have been identified where no physical works will be occurring. This aligns with our strategy of identifying sensitive areas and then avoiding impact.
The reports which will form input into the Planning Application were completed at various stages across 2018. The following lists a number of key assessments and reports that will be submitted along with and form parts of the Planning Application:
- Noise Assessment
- Targeted Flora and Fauna Assessment
- Brolga Assessment
- Flora and Fauna existing conditions report
- Visual Landscape Assessment
- Traffic Impact Assessment
- Electromagnetic Interference Assessment
- Surface and Groundwater Assessment
- Wind Farm Community Consultation Report
- Aviation Safety Assessment
- Fire and Bushfire Assessment
- Geoheritage Assessment
Public Display to present key aspects of the Planning Application
The second public display for the Mt Fyans Wind Farm was held on the 10 and 11 August at the Olivine Restaurant in Mortlake. Over 65 people turned out for the event to talk with members of the project development team.
At the display we presented an updated Development Plan that will be submitted as part of the Planning Application and five posters covering a project overview, noise, design, turbine technology and traffic and transport. Our panels from the display are available here:
- MFWF – Development Plan
- MFWF – Project Introduction
- MFWF – Design & Layout
- MFWF – Noise
- MFWF – Traffic & Transport
- MFWF – Turbine Technology
Woolnorth also made available auralisation technology which allows users to experience the sound of a wind turbine under different distances and different conditions. A video drive-by simulation of the wind farm was also presented that included two viewpoints from along the Hamilton Highway as well as a viewpoint from along Mortlake-Ararat Road. This simulation embeds the wind farm in the existing landscape, providing an experience of the wind farm proposed in the Planning Application from the point of view of a person using surrounding roads.