News & Updates

Project Updates

Submission of Environmental Impact Statement - 27 November 2020

ENGIE Australia & New Zealand is pleased to announce the lodgement of the Hills of Gold Wind Farm Environmental Impact Statement and the forthcoming commencement of public exhibition.  A video has been created to showcase the project and can be viewed below.

 

The Environmental Impact Statement will be made available and commence public exhibition from Wednesday the 2nd of December until the 29th of January 2021. This is an opportunity for the community to better understand the outcomes of surveys and to view the detailed assessments that have been carried out over the past two years.

 

We would like to take the opportunity to thank community members who have participated in the Community Consultative Committee and who have provided valuable feedback for consideration in the Environmental Impact Statement. 

 

There are several ways for people to find out more information about the proposed development.

 

1. Community Information Hub

 

A community information hub will be set up in the supper room of the Nundle War Memorial Hall from the 7th of December till the 29th of January 2021.
 

The information hub provides an opportunity to speak with project representatives and to view project information including high quality public viewpoint photomontages and posters that summarise the chapters in the Environmental Impact Statement.  

 

As the Community Information Hub will be operating with COVID safe practices all community members will be required to book a visit. To make a booking please contact:

 

Aref Taleb

Email -  info@hillsofgoldenergy.com

Call - 0435 135 937

There will be a QR code on the wall of the supper room, which community members can use to sign in as well as a manual sign in form.

The Community Information hub is a great opportunity to learn about the Hills of Gold Wind Farm and the opportunities it will create for the Nundle, Hanging Rock, and the surrounding areas.

2. NSW Major Projects Website

 

All documents prepared as part of the Environmental Impact Statement will be available through the NSW Planning Portal, link to Hills of Gold Wind Farm page:

 

(https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/major-projects/project/9701)

 

Documents can be downloaded from this website.

 

3. Nundle Library

 

The community can visit the Nundle Library during opening hours and view or borrow the following information:

  • 2 sets of enlarged and high-quality public viewpoint photomontages, one on display and one for borrowing.

  • Pre loaded USB drives with copies of the Environmental Impact Assessment will be available for borrowing.

  • A printed version of the Environmental Impact Assessment


We look forward to showcasing the proposed Hills of Gold Wind Farm development to the communities of Nundle, Hanging Rock and Crawney.

Public Viewpoint Photomontages - 9 November 2020
 

Wind Energy Partners is pleased to present the updated public viewpoint photomontages for the Hills of Gold Wind Farm. An additional 3 locations have been added to the existing 7, following input from the community. The 10 photomontages were produced by specialist consultants Moir Landscape Architecture, for community consultation and inclusion in the landscape and visual assessment.

The photomontages are based on the updated layout of 70 wind turbine generators, presented to the community in the September 2020 Newsletter. A photomontage combines a photograph of an existing view with a computer-rendered image of a proposed project.

The photomontages have been prepared from the following public viewpoint locations in Hanging Rock and Nundle based on feedback from the community of key places of public interest:


1.  Nundle Road

2.  Jenkins Street

3.  Crawney Road

4.  Nundle Cemetery

5.  Point Street

6.  Hanging Rock Lookout

7.  Morrisons Gap Road

8.  Corner of Lindsays Gap Road and Nundle Road
9.  Nundle Bowling & Golf Club
10. Timor Crawney Road

To download the photomontage package, click the below image.

 






 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September Newsletter - 1 September 2020

Wind Energy Partners are pleased to share a September Newsletter updating the community on progress being made in the lead up to submission of the development application.

We are pleased to see support for the project building as further technical information has been shared in consultation with those who have invited us to visit.

The attached newsletter provides further information on the status of the project and outlines key details on what to expect in the months ahead.

If you have any further questions after reading the newsletter feel free to reach out to Aref Taleb on 0435 135 937 or email on aref.t@someva.com.au. 

September 2020 Newsletter

 

Local Communities to benefit from TransGrid upgrade - 20 May 2020

 

TransGrid has announced they will start construction on the Tamworth substation upgrade in May as part of a wider project expected to provide $170 million of savings to electricity customers through reduced power prices.

 

The upgrade is expected to bring local benefits that include 150 construction jobs and improve access for new renewable energy generation by increasing the capacity of the transmission line from Liddell to Tamworth.

 

This is welcome news for the Hills of Gold Wind Farm who are proposing to connect into this transmission line. The upgrade provides greater certainty to the project being able to connect and offer lower cost renewable energy and other local benefits the proposed 400MW wind farm will bring the Tamworth region.

 

The wind farm is expected to contribute to local economy through:

  • Up to 215 jobs during construction

  • Improvements to local infrastructure for transport

  • Increased spending on rural hospitality and local services.


There are also a range of direct benefits that are offered for the community once the project is operational including;

  • Contributing $2,500 per turbine per year into a community fund, which will be run by local community members

  • Providing lower cost renewable power to approximately 185,000 homes

  • Direct payments to up to 50 local landowners expected to be involved in the wind farm

 

Residents interested in discussing the Hills of Gold Wind Farm near Hanging Rock, Crawney and Nundle can contact Someva through Aref Taleb on 0435 135 937.

The announcement on the upgrade can be found here for further reading: https://www.transgrid.com.au/qniapproval

Are you eligible for the Neighbour Benefit Sharing Program? - 15 May 2020
 

Wind Energy Partners is pleased to provide a map showing the 5km area for eligible neighbours as part of the Neighbour Benefit Sharing Program.   



 










All neighbours to the proposed wind farm with a house within 5km of a proposed turbine are eligible for the program. The program is a way of directly sharing the benefits of the wind farm with the community and is additional to the community enhancement fund. It is a voluntary program and encourages neighbours to engage on their priorities and questions on the project. ​


If you think you are within the 5km area or have further questions please reach out to Someva through Aref Taleb on 0435 135 937 or aref.t@someva.com.au.

 

Preliminary Visual Photomontages - 30 April 2020

Wind Energy Partners is pleased to present Preliminary Visual Photomontages for the Hills of Gold Wind Farm Project.

 

Seven (7) photomontages have been prepared by specialist consultants Moir Landscape Architecture, to support ongoing community consultation during the planning phase of the proposal. 

 

Feedback from the community is sought in advance of the scheduled submission of the Environmental Impact Statement to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment expected in late 2020.

 

The photomontages are based on the Updated Preliminary Wind Turbine Layout of 78 wind turbine generators presented to the community earlier in March 2020. A photomontage combines a photograph of an existing view with a computer-rendered image of a proposed development. Photomontages are used to illustrate the likely view of a proposed development as it would be seen in a photograph.

 

The photomontages have been prepared from the following public viewpoint locations in Hanging Rock and Nundle based on feedback from the community of key places of public interest:

 

  1. Nundle Road

  2. Jenkins Street

  3. Crawney Road

  4. Nundle Cemetery

  5. Point Street

  6. Hanging Rock Lookout

  7. Morrisons Gap Road


An explanation of the photomontage preparation methodology, selection process and a location map is included to accompany the photomontages, to assist in interpretation and provide further information in the photomontage preparation process and relevant guidelines. The photomontages do not include ancillary infrastructure such as sub-stations and operations and maintenance centres, which will be included as part of the landscape and visual assessment component of the Environmental Impact Statement once finalised.

 

Additional photomontages and information on visual impacts relating to shadow-flicker and aviation lighting will be included in information presented to the community in August 2020.

 

Wind Energy Partners looks forward to your feedback on the photomontages and continuing to bring information to Hanging Rock, Nundle and Crawney community members on the Project. 

To download the photomontage package, click the below image.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wind Energy Partners Neighbour Benefit Sharing Program - 9 April 2020

Wind Energy Partners is pleased to announce a voluntary Neighbour Benefit Sharing Program (Neighbour Program) for the Hills of Gold Wind Farm Project.

The Neighbour Program is for neighbours with residences located within 5km of the project and is additional to the Community Enhancement Fund, which provides a financial benefit for the broader community. 

The Neighbour Program aims to share the financial benefits of the windfarm with neighbours whose land is not hosting wind turbines and is based on recommendations made by the Office of the National Wind Farm Commissioner, Clean Energy Council and Australian Wind Alliance.

The Neighbour Program will provide annual payments ranging from $1,500 to $6,000, with individual agreements for residences where unique circumstances require it.  Although all neighbours within 5km are eligible for the voluntary program, neighbours can elect not to be involved. Landholders who will have turbines constructed on their property are not eligible.

 

As part of participation in the program, neighbours are not restricted from raising concerns or objecting to the projects design once lodged in the development application. 

In addition to the Neighbour Program, Wind Energy Partners recently released an updated preliminary wind turbine layout. This updated layout has been developed in response to a greater understanding of the proposed site and surrounding area through site investigations, project engineering and community and stakeholder engagement from 2018 through to 2020.


The updated layout:

  • Reduces potential impacts to flora and fauna

  • Increases setbacks from creeks and streams

  • Increases the distances of turbines to nearby residents

  • Is expected to reduce the number of traffic movements during construction

The updated preliminary layout is provided to assist local residents understand the proposal and for neighbours to consider participation in the Neighbour Program. Following consultation with local residents, photomontages presenting possible viewsheds from public locations will also be shared in April 2020.

The ongoing collection of information from the community and specialists allows for the wind farm layout and design to be discussed with neighbours prior to a development application.  As such, this preliminary updated wind turbine layout could change through further consultation and assessment prior to lodgement.

Wind Energy Partners will contact eligible landholders by the end of May and look forward to continuing to share information about the Community Enhancement Fund, Neighbour Program and updated project layout with the community.

Residents interested in discussing the Hills of Gold Wind Farm near Hanging Rock, Crawney and Nundle can contact Someva through Aref Taleb on 0435135 937.  Further information on the project is available at www.hillsofgoldenergy.com

 

Hills of Gold Preservation Inc Questions and Responses to Noise and Vibration Assessment - 27 March 2020

 

In March 2020, Hills of Gold Preservation Inc submitted a list of questions raised by their members to Wind Energy Partners on the subject of Wind Farm Noise Monitoring. These questions are in relation to the noise and vibration impact assessment being undertaken by Sonus Pty Ltd, which forms part of the Environmental Impact Statement for the Hills of Gold Wind Farm Project, and will be made publicly available at the time of lodgement of a Development Application later in 2020.

 

In consultation with Sonus Pty Ltd, Wind Energy Partners recently provided responses to these questions to Hills of Gold Preservation Inc. These response can be downloaded by clicking on the link here.

 

Residents with any additional questions or concerns on the noise and vibration impact assessment and subject of hosting noise loggers and are encouraged to get in contact with Mike Stranger at mike.s@someva.com.au or 0449 631 875.

Updated Preliminary Wind Turbine Layout – 27 March 2020

Wind Energy Partners are pleased to present an updated preliminary wind turbine layout for the Hills of Gold Wind Farm Project. The detailed turbine layout is available for download by clicking on the below image.











This updated layout has been developed through the ongoing collection of information from 2018 through to 2020.

The updated layout:

  • Reduces potential impacts to flora and fauna

  • Increases setbacks from creeks and streams

  • Increases the distances of turbines to nearby residents

  • Is expected to reduce the number of traffic movements during construction

 

The updated preliminary layout is provided to support ongoing consultation with local residents. To support ongoing consultation, photomontages presenting possible viewsheds from public locations requested from local residents will be shared in April 2020. 

 

The ongoing collection of information from the community and specialists allows for the wind farm layout and design to be improved prior to a Development Application.  As such, this preliminary updated wind turbine layout could change through further consultation. This updated preliminary layout delivers on a commitment made to the community in September 2019, as a result of feedback provided by CCC members and the community on the need for further information on the development of the project.

 

Residents in the area are encouraged to contact Mike Stranger at mike.s@someva.com.au or 0449 631 875 if they would like to discuss the proposed layout.

Community Survey and Wind Farm Information Sessions – 8 January 2020

A new Hills of Gold Wind Farm Project Community Consultation Survey was distributed via letter box drop to members of the Hanging Rock, Nundle and Crawney communities in December 2019. The survey aims to collect important information from the local residents on non-indigenous cultural heritage sites in the region, landscape and visual impact concerns, Community Enhancement Fund priorities and the naming of the project. Copies of the survey are available for download here, and we ask that all completed surveys be returned to the Nundle Post Office or via email to mike.s@someva.com.au by the 17th January, 2020.

** Note: The Community Survey Deadline has been extended to the 30th April 2020, in consideration of the community disruption caused by the bushfires during the original December/January survey period and following discussion in the March CCC Meeting. Respondents may continue to email completed surveys to mike.s@someva.com.au or send them via post to Someva Renewables, 38 Young Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000.

 

A flyer was also circulated via letterbox drop in December 2019, where we announced the commencement of a Community Information Session Program for 2020. The community information sessions will occur on the third Tuesday and Wednesday of every month, where Mike Stranger will be available to meet with members of Hanging Rock, Nundle and Crawney communities to talk about the project, answer your questions and gain important feedback from residents. The Flyer is available for download here, and contains the relevant contact information to arrange a session. The first information sessions will be on the 21st and 22nd of January. We hope these sessions will act as an additional path to providing up-to-date and accurate information on the project to members of the community, but also serve to provide us with a clear picture of the concerns of the local community, so these can be take into consideration during the planning and design phase.

Updated Newsletter and EPBC Act Referral - 24 September 2019

A new Project Newsletter is available and can be downloaded here. Included within the newsletter is information on a new project participant ENGIE, a global leader in low-carbon generation with more than 103 gigawatts across 70 countries of installed power generation capacity, including 25% in renewables, such as wind and solar photovoltaic technologies. An update is provided on Community Consultative Committee formation, ongoing biodiversity surveys, installation of two new meteorological masts and information on the wind farm design and development process.

The Project has also recently lodged an Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act Referral with the Department of Energy and Environment. The EPBC Act referral is available online for public review and comment at the following website: 

Department of Environment and Energy - EPBC Notices Homepage

Preliminary Environmental Assessment** and Project Newsletter - 21 November 2018

 

Wind Energy Partners has achieved a significant project milestone with the submission of our Preliminary Environmental Assessment to the NSW Department of Planning. The preliminary environmental assessment provides the early concept and broad assessment and suitability of a wind farm against the NSW Wind Guidelines. Our newsletter has been added to the Newsletter section below. It aims to provide a snapshot of the progress of the project thus far as there is a lot of information available from our initial independent studies including visual, noise, and biodiversity. The full form Preliminary Environmental Assessment can be found on the Department of Planning’s Major Projects website using the link below.

Department of Planning Major Projects - Hills of Gold Wind Farm

**Information Correction

 

Please note that information pertaining to the Tamworth population as listed on Page 21, in Table 3-1 of the Preliminary Environmental Assessment is erroneous.

 

The correct Tamworth Local Government Area population number is approximately 60,000, based on 2016 census data.

Community Enhancement Fund - 30 March 2018

Wind Energy Partners is pleased to announce the funding commitment for the Community Enhancement Fund. The fund will be established to provide the community with the financial resources to help enhance lifestyle and opportunities for local residents around Hanging Rock, Nundle and communities close to the project. 

 

The fund will be supported with a commitment of $2,500 per wind turbine per year installed and operating, expected over a period of 25 years.  Wind Energy Partners through consultation has learnt of a number of ideas to which the community fund could be used and welcomes suggestions to the design of the fund.  

Further details of the fund will be designed through consultation with the Community Consultative Committee to be established in 2018. Wind Energy Partners aims to finalise the Community Enhancement Fund framework and will submit this design as part of the planning permission application.

Further details of the fund design will be announced following further community engagement to determine community priorities.  

To subscribe to our mailing list, please click here.

 

Project Newsletters

Project Newsletter 1

Project Newsletter 2

Project Newsletter 3

Capture15Apr2020.PNG

Contact Us

36-38 Young Street, Sydney, New South Wales

Or call us directly:

Aref Taleb: 0435 135 937