The planning permit for the Geelong’s Golden Plains Wind Farm as been approved.
The Golden Plains Wind Farm will be about 60km north-west of Geelong and will generate nearly 3000 gigawatt hours of electricity per year – enough to power more than 400,000 homes.
Once complete, the $1.5 billion project will span up to 17,000 hectares and stop more than 3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted to the atmosphere each year.
The planning permit approval follows the conclusion of the Environment Effects Statement (EES) by the minister at the end of 2018. The Minister’s assessment of the EES supported the project, subject to increasing the turbine-free buffer area to ensure breeding wetlands used by native birdlife are adequately protected.
The decision reflects advice from an independent expert planning panel and may result in a reduction of up to 47 turbines, from 228 to 181, with the number depending on how the proponent chooses to meet environmental restrictions.
The project must now be considered by the federal government for approval.
Proponent WestWind Energy will take around four years to build the project if approved.