EPA considers proposal for St Patricks Plains Wind Farm

​​The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposal by St Patricks Plains Wind Farm Pty Ltd for a wind farm at St Patricks Plains in the Central Highlands municipality. 

Up to 47 wind turbine generators (turbines) are proposed, generating up to 300 megawatts, in addition to the construction of a switchyard connecting the wind farm to existing TasNetworks transmission lines. A maximum of 34 Identiflight (IDF) units will also be installed across the site to minimise eagle collision risk. 

The Chair of the EPA Board, Andrew Paul, said the Board concluded the proposed development can be managed in an environmentally sustainable and acceptable manner, with conditions. The Board requires these conditions to be included in any permit subsequently granted by the Central Highlands Council. 

Public consultation was open for a 42-day period from 12 August 2023 and 160 representations were received by the Board in relation to the proposal. The environmental issues raised in the representations included impacts on eagles, other natural values, and noise impacts to nearby residential areas.  Visual impacts were also raised. 

“Various environmental issues were considered in the assessment, and a number of conditions have been imposed relating to management of eagle collision risk, avoiding and minimising impact on threatened natural values, operational noise management and avoiding impacts on groundwater and surface water," Mr Paul said. 

The proposal was considered by the Board in the context of the sustainable development objectives of the Resource Management and Planning System of Tasmania (RMPS), and in the context of the objectives of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control System (EMPCS) established by the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA). 

The functions of the Board are to administer and enforce the provisions of EMPCA, to further the RMPS and EMPCS objectives and, in particular, to use its best endeavours to protect the environment of Tasmania. 

The Board undertook assessment of the proposal in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Principles defined in Section 74 of the Act.

The environmental assessment report, including the environmental conditions, has been issued to the proponent, and Central Highlands Council. 

This decision and all assessment documents can be viewed at St Patricks Plains Wind Farm Pty Ltd, St Patricks Plains Wind Farm, Central Highlands Tasmania​.

Published on: 8/07/2024