Silverton Wind Farm: Environment

The Silverton Wind Farm operates under strict environmental standards, mandated by legislation and the approval conditions. In addition to meeting the specific environmental performance criteria established under the approval conditions, the Project must implement all reasonable and feasible measures to prevent and/or minimise any material harm to the environment that may result from the construction, operation, or decommissioning of the project.

For more Silverton Wind Farm environment documentation, please visit the documents page.

 

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) (PDF). For more Silverton Wind Farm environment documentation, please visit the documents page.

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.

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).

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

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 page.

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

Notification protocols

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 (PDF) and the Community Notification Protocol (PDF) for the Silverton Wind Farm Project. The annual Statement of Compliance for the EPL can be viewed in the document library.

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:

 

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.

 

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.