Ark Energy, a subsidiary of Korea Zinc Co Ltd, has received approval to proceed with the development of the Bowmans Creek onshore wind farm in southeastern Australia, subject to several conditions, including a reduction in its maximum capacity to 335 MW, the parties announced on Tuesday.
The approval was granted by the New South Wales (NSW) Independent Planning Commission (IPC), marking a significant milestone for the AUD-569-million (USD 369.1m/EUR 343.5m) project, which has been in progress since its introduction to the local community in 2018.
Originally proposed to feature 60 wind turbines with a capacity of 347 MW, the project was scaled down to address community concerns, resulting in a revised plan featuring 56 turbines. However, the final approval stipulates that the site will accommodate up to 54 turbines.
In addition to the turbine count reduction, the approval includes various requirements such as visual impact mitigation measures, noise monitoring, and decommissioning and rehabilitation of the site at the conclusion of the project's lifespan, according to regulatory statements.
Situated approximately 10 kilometres (6.21 mi) east of Muswellbrook in the Hunter-Central Coast Renewable Energy Zone (REZ), the Bowmans Creek facility is expected to play a significant role in contributing to the state's renewable energy targets and potentially lowering wholesale electricity prices.
“We listened to the community to iterate the design and address concerns, and we're thrilled that Bowmans Creek Wind Farm has been approved. We look forward to this important project contributing to the state's renewable energy targets and helping to drive down wholesale electricity prices,” stated Martin Poole, Ark Energy's head of development.