The 200 MW Silverton Wind Farm Project is a $450 million energy project currently under construction in north western NSW. The wind farm is the first greenfield development for the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF). A joint venture consisting of GE and CATCON is contracted for the engineering, procurement and construction of the wind farm works. The project scope also includes connection works to a substation in Broken Hill operated by TransGrid.

Construction began in May 2017 with the site expected to be operational by mid-2019.

The site will contain 58 wind turbines and will produce approximately 780,000 MWh of renewable energy annually, in what will be the sixth largest wind farm in Australia. This energy will power approximately 136,000 average Australian homes.

The public can notify CATCON of an incident by calling the 24 hour answering service on 1300 677 423.

The Silverton Wind Farm will produce approximately 780,000 MWh of renewable energy annually, which can power approximately 136,000 average Australian homes.

Location

Silverton Wind Farm is located in the Barrier Ranges of NSW. Its south-western boundary is approximately five kilometres north of Silverton and approximately 25 kilometres north-west of Broken Hill.

The placement of turbines will be located over the Mundi Mundi Range in the southern portion of the site and Mount Robe Range in the northern portion of the site.



Latest project news

In January 2017, AGL announced the 200 MW Silverton wind farm in western NSW is ready to proceed to construction, having achieved financial close on the sale of the project to the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF)


Overview
Community
Environment
Documents

In this section

Project background

The 200 MW Silverton wind farm will produce approximately 780,000 MWh of renewable energy annually, which can power more than 136,000 average Australian homes in what will be the sixth largest wind farm in Australia.

GE and civil engineering construction company, CATCON, formed a joint venture and won the major contract to develop and build the $450 million Silverton Wind Farm. GE and CATCON are responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction of the Silverton Wind Farm Project.

Construction of the project includes:

  • The supply, transportation, erection, fit-out and commissioning of 58 Wind Turbine Generators (WTG)
  • The design and construction of the WTG foundations
  • Internal access road network and WTG hardstands
  • 33kV electrical reticulation system and switchyard
  • The construction of an Operations and Maintenance Facility
  • External road upgrades.

Connection works for the project include a 25 kilometre transmission line from an existing 220kV substation in Broken Hill, operated by TransGrid and a new 220KV wind farm substation.

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Project history

Approval
The Silverton Wind Farm was approved on the 24th of May 2009 under the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) by the NSW Minister for Planning. This approval was based on the Environmental Assessment for the proposed Silverton Wind Farm, prepared by NGH Environmental, dated August 2008.

The approved project is described in the Preferred Project and Submissions Reports which was finalised in January 2009. On 13 May 2009, under Section 75 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Commonwealth), Stage 1 of the Silverton Wind Farm was declared to be 'Not a Controlled Action'.

Silverton Wind Farm Developments finalised and submitted a Development Application to the NSW Department of Planning, as required under Part 3A of the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

For a complete list of approval documentation, visit the document tab above.

Modification 3
The Modification 3 Exhibition period was from the 5th to the 28th of August 2016 and submissions were accepted until the 9th September 2016. Twelve submissions were received during the exhibition period.

Project acquisition by AGL
AGL acquired Silverton Wind Farm Developments Pty Ltd in March 2012. Silverton Wind Farm applied for an extension to the original Development Approval to extend the date of construction. Modification 1 was granted in April 2014 and Modification 2 was granted in June 2016.

Modification 3 approval
Modification 3 was approved by the NSW Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) on the 22nd of December 2016. Modification 3 addresses advancements in wind turbine technology since the project was first approved. The key modifications were a decrease in the number of turbines while increasing the dimensions and capacity of each turbine.

Additionally, the wind turbines and infrastructure relevant to the Concept Plan Approval (Stage 2) would no longer be developed. The documents associated with the original project approval, Modification 1, Modification 2 and Modification 3 can be accessed in the document tab above.

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Project and Submission Report

Silverton Wind Farm Developments received submissions during the initial public exhibition of the Silverton Wind Farm Environmental Assessment in 2008. The Department of Planning responded to the issues raised, in accordance with Section 75H of the NSW Environmental and Planning Assessment Act 1979.

The Modification 3 Exhibition Period was from the 5th to the 28th of August 2016 and submissions were accepted until the 9th of September 2016. Sessions with the community were held at Silverton and Broken Hill on the 17th of August 2016.

Twelve submissions were received during the Modification 3 Exhibition Period. Nine were submitted by government departments and three by the community. Silverton Wind Farm Developments has considered the issues raised in the submissions and has prepared a Preferred Project and Submissions Report to respond to these issues.

This report redefines the Stage 1 area which is the subject of project approval, and considers and responds to the issues raised in the submissions to the Silverton Wind Farm EA for Modification 3.

For a complete list of project reports, visit the document tab above.

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News

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Community Complaints and Enquiries

If you would like to enquire or make a complaint about Silverton Wind Farm, please feel free to contact us via the following channels:

AGL Community Complaints & Enquiries Hotline: 1800 039 600
Email: AGLCommunity@agl.com.au
Mail: AGL Community Complaints & Enquiries, Locked Bag 3013, Australia Square NSW 1215

You can find out more about how AGL engages with the community here and access the Community Complaints and Feedback Policy here.

Community complaints are managed in accordance with the AGL Complaints Management Policy and the Silverton Wind Farm Community Engagement Plan. Formal complaints are recorded in the complaints register in accordance with the project approval.

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Deliveries
  • First wind turbine components delivered – Thursday 7 December 2017
  • Transformer delivered – Tuesday 12 December 2017
  • First wind turbine installed – 15 December 2017

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Community benefits

AGL is committed to developing the Silverton Wind Farm in a way that minimises adverse local impacts and maximises the benefits of the project to the local community and broader population.

AGL prefers to use local or regional companies where possible. The local community will benefit from up to 150 jobs during the peak of construction and up to 10 jobs during the operation of the Silverton Wind Farm, including civil, electrical and mechanical contractors, concrete supply, and services to support these workers.

Stage 1 of the project offers the community the following benefits:

  • Establishment of a community fund to assist in funding projects that provide benefits to the Silverton community.
  • Improvement in local infrastructure in the Silverton region.
  • Protection and improved management of sensitive local biodiversity including the tawny rock dragon and a previously unrecorded spinifex ecological community.
  • Improved security of electricity supply through diversification.

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Community Engagement Plan

Our commitments
The Silverton Wind Farm Community Engagement Plan has been developed to provide a framework for how AGL, with the support of the main contractors GE-CATCON and Transgrid, intend to consult, engage and communicate with the community and stakeholders about the Silverton wind farm during the construction phase of the project.

The Community Engagement Plan has been designed to deliver on AGL’s commitments under our Community Engagement Policy and to meet the relevant legal, regulatory and stakeholder obligations of the Project.

Community complaints
Community complaints are managed in accordance with the AGL Complaints Management Policy and the Silverton Wind Farm Community Engagement Plan. Formal complaints are recorded in the complaints register in accordance with the project approval.

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Community Enhancement Program

The Silverton Wind Farm Community Enhancement Program has been prepared in accordance with requirements in the project approval which involved consultation with Broken Hill Council, the Silverton Village Committee and the Silverton Community Consultative Committee. The Program outlines AGL’s community enhancement commitments and how it can add value to the local community through the development and operation of the Silverton wind farm.

  • Silverton Community Fund (Silverton Local Community Investment Program)
  • Solar Silverton Program
  • Water Tank Program
  • Mobile Reception Program

Local Community Enhancement Program applications are now closed!

The Silverton Wind Farm Local Community Enhancement Program invests funds back into the community by way of financial support for community based initiatives, projects and events.

The Program aims to:

  • Deliver community wide benefits
  • Encourage innovation in and support for issues of community significance
  • Support the work of community organisations.

The Local Community Enhancement Program is run annually and awards funding for community initiatives within the Silverton NSW and surrounding area, of up to $5,000. Applications for funding will be assessed by AGL with input from members of the Silverton Wind Farm Community Consultative Committee.

The Silverton Wind Farm Local Community Investment Program application period for this round is now closed.


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Wind Farms and Health

For Wind Farms and Health documentation, please visit the document tab above.

 

Community Consultative Committee meetings

For Silverton Community Consultative Committee meeting documentation, please visit the document tab above.

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In this section


Overarching Environmental Management Strategy (OEMS)

AGL prepared the Overarching Environmental Management Strategy (OEMS) for the construction of the Silverton Wind Farm in accordance with Condition 1 (Schedule 4) and Condition 17 (Schedule 2) of the project approval.

The key objectives of the OEMS is to provide the strategic framework for delivering environmental management during the delivery of the Silverton Wind Farm.

The OEMS provides an overarching framework for achieving compliance with the relevant legal, regulatory and stakeholder obligations of the Project and provide guidance to Project team personnel to ensure responsibilities are understood.

The OEMS includes the overarching environmental management activities for delivering the project, such as the Community Consultative Committee, which is described in the Community Engagement Plan.

View the Overarching Environmental Management Strategy (OEMS). For more Silverton Wind Farm environment documentation, please visit the documents tab above.

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Delivery Summary - Environmental Management Strategies and Plans

The Silverton Wind Farm Project consists of two main scopes of work:

  • Wind Farm Works: 58 wind turbines and associated infrastructure.
  • Connection Works: 220kV wind farm substation and transmission line.

GE-CATCON is engaged under an Engineer, Procure and Construct (EPC) Contract to deliver the Wind Farm Works.

TransGrid is engaged under their Project Agreement to deliver the Connection Works.

Environmental Management Plans

The associated Environmental Management Plans for the delivery phase provide greater details on the day-to-day management actions required at the wind farm to ensure the risk of environmental impacts is reduced.

These plans have been prepared in consultation with the relevant government agency, local leaseholders, Aboriginal stakeholders and to the satisfaction of the Secretary, and are described below for the Wind Farm Works phase and the Connection Works phase.

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Wind Farm Works Environmental Management

GE-CATCON has prepared a Works Environmental Management Strategy (WEMS) for the Wind Farm Works in accordance with Condition 1 (Schedule 4) of the project approval and has been approved by the Secretary for their scope of work.

The WEMS provides a strategic framework for managing environmental aspects related to the Engineer, Procure and Construct (EPC) contract for the Wind Farm Works.

Specific management plans that should be read in conjunction with this WEMS include:

  • Biodiversity Management Plan (Condition 18, Schedule 3)
  • Bird and Bat Adaptive Management Plan (condition 19, schedule 3)
  • Heritage Management Plan (Condition 21, Schedule 3)
  • Road Upgrade and Maintenance Strategy (Condition 24, Schedule 3)
  • Traffic Management Plan (Condition 27, Schedule 3)

General Electric International Inc (GE) held the Environmental Protection Licence (EPL) No. 20882 for construction in the Silverton Common, which is a Crown Reserve Trust. Part 5.7A of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (NSW) and the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2009 (POEO(G)Regulation), requires GE as holder of an EPL to prepare, keep, test and implement a Pollution Incident Response Management Plan (PIRMP).

GE is required to publish its procedures for communicating with the community and contacting relevant authorities when an incident occurs. View the Incident Notification Protocol and the Community Notification Protocol for the Silverton Wind Farm Project. The annual Statement of Compliance for the EPL can be viewed in the document library.

To view the Works Environmental Management Strategy and associated management Plan documentation, view the documents tab above.

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Connection Works Environmental Management

TransGrid has prepared the Connection Works Environmental Management Strategy (CWEMS) and associated management plans for the Connection Works in accordance with Condition 1 (Schedule 4) of the project approval and has been approved by the Secretary.

The purpose of the CWEMS is to provide a framework for the management of environmental issues during construction of the Silverton Wind Farm Connection Works. Implementing the CWEMS will ensure that the project team meets the Project Conditions of Approval (COA), regulatory and policy requirements in a systematic manner and continually improves its performance.

The associated management plans include:

  • Biodiversity Management Plan (Condition 18, Schedule 3)
  • Heritage Management Plan (Condition 21, Schedule 3)
  • Construction Traffic and Access Management Plan (Condition 24 and 27, Schedule 3)

To view the Connection Works Environmental Management Strategy and associated management Plan documentation, please refer to the documents tab above.

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Operations Environmental Management

Once construction and commissioning is complete, the Silverton Wind Farm Project will commence the operations phase.

For this phase, an Operations Environmental Management Strategy (OpEMS) is prepared and implemented. The document follows on from the Environmental Management Strategy (OEMS) prepared by AGL.

The OpEMS provides the strategic framework for managing environmental aspects related to the servicing and maintenance of the Silverton Wind Farm. The servicing and maintenance apply to 58 wind turbines and associated infrastructure which will be undertaken by GE Renewable Energy Onshore Wind - Projects and Services.

The OpEMS should be read in conjunction with the following documents that are authorised under the conditions of the MOD 3 project approval and are applicable to the operational period of the wind farm:

  • Operations Environmental Management Strategy
  • Operational Biodiversity Adaptive Management Plan
  • Porcupine Grass Sparse Woodland Recovery Plan
  • Barrier Range Dragon Management Plan
  • Goat Management Plan
  • Vegetation Management Plan
  • Bird and Bat Adaptive Management Plan

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Environmental Monitoring

Independent Environmental Audit

Schedule 4, Condition 7 of Project Approval 08_0022 (MOD 3) requires AGL to commission an Independent Environmental Audit (IEA) within one year of the date of commencement of construction, and every 3 years thereafter.

The first IEA was commissioned on 11 May 2018. The audit report and AGL’s Action Response Plan can be downloaded below:

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Operational Noise Monitoring

In accordance with condition 10 (schedule 3) of the project approval, operational noise monitoring must be undertaken within 6 months of the commencement of operations to determine whether the project is compliant with the relevant project approval conditions.

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Environmental Performance Reporting

Schedule 4, Condition 6 of Project Approval 08_022 (MOD 3) requires AGL to provide regular reporting on the environmental performance of the project. The environmental performance of the project can be downloaded below:

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Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act

The Silverton Wind Farm was referred to the Federal Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts on the 15th of April 2009. It was determined that the proposed action is 'Not a Controlled Action'. This means that the project does not require further assessment and approval under the EPBC Act before it can proceed.

For more information, visit the Department of the Environment and Energy.

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Overarching Environmental Management Strategy
Environmental assessment

Community updates
Submissions report Modification 3
Community consultative committee (CCC)

Agenda

Minutes

Presentation