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Vic development approval for 96 wind turbines

Vic development approval for 96 wind turbines

The construction of a multimillion-dollar wind farm will proceed in Victoria after an impact assessment on the local brolga population passed state environmental requirements.

Firm: Herbert Smith Freehills (Trustpower)

Deal: An environmental effects statement for Dundonnell Wind Farm in western Victoria has allowed the project to receive planning approval from the state government.

Value: $650 million

Area: Environment

Key players: HSF partner Tim Power (pictured) led the team advising Trustpower on all environmental aspects of the project. Senior associate Zachary Tyler and solicitor Jennifer Meek also assisted with the project.

Deal significance:

Dundonnell Wind Farm has received planning approval from the Victorian government. The $650 million project in western Victoria will be developed by Trustpower, together with regional landowners who will host some of the 96 wind turbines on their properties.

Prior to receiving development approval for the wind farm, Trustpower was required to produce an environmental effects statement (EES). The EES was subject to an independent public inquiry last year.

According to a statement released by HSF, a key environmental concern was whether the wind farm design provided “appropriate buffers from wetlands used by brolga, a protected bird species in Victoria”.

HSF partner Tim Power, who led the team advising on all environmental aspects of the project, said local landholders were given training on how observe and collect data about the bird species.

“Thousands of hours of data on the brolga flight, breeding and flocking behaviours was sourced by two local landholders and collected and used in the technical impact assessment undertaken by Trustpower’s ecologists,” Mr Power said.

He described the wind farm as “an outstanding project that will make an important contribution to achieving Victoria’s and Australia’s renewable energy goals”.

“It is a fantastic example of an energy company partnering with local land owners who wish to have turbines on their property, and enlisting their support to collect important data about the presence and patterns of behaviour of protected bird species,” Mr Power said.

Herbert Smith Freehills partner Tim Power

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