DP Energy is committed to ensuring that all its projects are developed in a sustainable manner with the minimum reasonable environmental impact on their surroundings. Our approach in this respect is to consult with stakeholders and local interest groups in order to identify potentially sensitive issues and so that we are able to agree a scope and methodology that best defines not only how the baseline surveys will be carried out but also how the project may impact on such sensitivities.
Following extensive consultation, we have undertaken baseline surveys and other assessments in order to characterise the area in its current form in order to assess the potential impact of the project. These included assessments of aspects such as Ecology (Flora and Fauna), Cultural Heritage, Landscape and Visual Amenity, Noise, Aviation, Radio communications and Traffic and Transport.
Landscape & Visual Amenity — A Landscape & Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) was undertaken to characterise the local landscape character, and an assessment made of the capacity of the area (in landscape terms) to accommodate the proposal. A visual assessment has also been undertaken by generating a series of visualisations from key viewpoints in order to quantify the impacts and degree of sensitivity from these viewpoints.
Traffic and Transport - A traffic and transport assessment was undertaken to identify if there were any potential impacts resulting from the transportation of equipment and personnel to and from the Project site during construction, operation and decommissioning.
Aviation - In accordance with best practice guidelines, and specifically National Airports Safeguarding Advisory Group draft guidelines, an independent aviation specialist was contracted to carry out an aviation assessment.
Telecommunications and Electromagnetic Interference - An assessment was carried out in line with Environmental Protection and Heritage Council1 and the Clean Energy Council2 guidance on the assessment and mitigation of the potential EMI impacts from wind farms.
Shadow Flicker, Blade Glint and Glare - Assessments on the potential for Shadow Flicker and Glint from turbine blades, and Glare from the solar PV arrays have been undertaken.
Hazards and Pollution – A comprehensive assessment of any potential Hazards and/or Pollution impacts, both during construction and operation has been undertaken.
Flora & Fauna — Walkover surveys were conducted to characterise the ecology of the site and to identify designated or sensitive species. The results of these surveys informed the design process and resulted in changes to turbine and access track locations in the final project design.
Cultural Heritage — Walkover surveys involving the Traditional Owners of the land were conducted in order to gain an understanding of the traditional uses of the land and to identify any areas of particular concern.
Noise — The project is designed with substantial setbacks in order to minimise any potential noise impacts on neighbouring dwellings. Additionally, a background noise survey was undertaken by independent consultants to confirm that the setbacks were indeed sufficient.
1. Environment Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC) (2010) National Wind Farm Development Guidelines – Draft July 2010.
2. Clean Energy Council (2013) Best Practice Guidelines for Wind Energy Projects in Australia.