The EPA is responsible for assessing and regulating environmental impacts of wind farms in Tasmania. Assessment of wind farm proposals involves identifying key environmental risks and imposing requirements for risk mitigation to ensure impacts to the environment are minimised. If a wind farm proposal is approved, EPA regulatory officers ensure compliance with environmental conditions during pre-construction, construction, commissioning, operational and decommissioning phases.
Environmental issues associated with wind farms can include:
- threatened species (flora and fauna) impacts, including bird strikes
- weed and disease management
- cultural and aboriginal heritage impacts
- visual impacts
The EPA Board's Policy on noise limits for wind farm energy projects was formally adopted in August 2020 in accordance with accepted best practice environmental management standards elsewhere in Australia. The noise level limit set for wind energy projects is the 35 dB(A) criterion, or background + 5 dB(A), whichever is greater.
Eagle Nest Searching and Nest Activity Checks
The EPA Guide to Eagle Nest Searching and Nest Activity Checks is intended to provide direction to proponents and stakeholders where there is a requirement to undertake eagle nest searches and nest activity checks for either of Tasmania's threatened eagle species, the wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax fleayi) and/or the white-bellied sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) as part of an environmental impact assessment.
Offset Guidelines for Impacts to Threatened Eagles
For the majority of Tasmanian wind farms the conditions of approval require offsets for impacts to threatened eagle species that may result from the operation of the windfarm. Offsets are imposed via permit conditions. The Offset Guidelines for Impacts to Threatened Eagles from Wind Farm Developments provides windfarm operators and regulators guidance regarding the process of identifying, assessing and approving appropriate offsets within the context of a broader, strategic eagle management objective.
Wind Farm Related Resources
Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner
Clean Energy Council
Australian Renewable Energy Agency
Clean Energy Regulator