Hellyer Wind Farm
The site for the proposed Hellyer Wind Farm is in a remote part of the Burnie City Council area in Tasmania’s north-west. It is approximately 5km south-west of Hampshire and 30km south of Burnie, and located within one of Tasmania’s candidate renewable energy zones identified by the Australian Energy Market Operator as optimal for new renewable energy generation.
Within Surrey Hills Estate, the area is currently used for commercial forestry plantation operations and seems particularly suitable for a wind farm because:
- there is a good wind resource with monitoring underway to confirm wind speeds
- it is close to the existing high voltage transmission network
- it is adjacent to the Ridgley Highway for good transport access
- forestry and wind farming are compatible land uses
- it is away from populated areas, reducing the likelihood of amenity impacts.
The current layout involves 48 wind turbines with an output capacity of up to 300 megawatts.
The planning process commenced in 2022 with a Notice of Intent (NOI) submitted to the Environment Protection Authority Tasmania (EPA) and a referral under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) to the Federal Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW).
Final Project Specific Guidelines (PSGs) identifying key matters for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) were issued in November 2022, and can be found on the Hellyer Wind Farm page on EPA Tasmania's assessment portal.
The Development Application will be determined by Burnie City Council and the EIS will be assessed by the EPA. DCCEEW has deemed the proposal to be a ‘controlled action’ under the EPBC Act, which means it must also be assessed under the EPBC Act and this will be done by the EPA under a bilateral agreement. The project’s EPBC Act referral decision and documentation (Reference ID 2022/09299) is available on the Hellyer Wind Farm page on the EPBC Act Public Portal.
The various assessment studies required by the Project Specific Guidelines are underway. A key area for assessment is the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle. Eagle utilisation across the site will be studied by independent specialists for up to two years (eight seasons) and a number of eagles around the project area are being tracked via GPS. The majority of the assessment studies will be undertaken in 2023 and 2024. Findings will inform the final wind turbine layout and project design.
We are keen to engage with members of the local community for input to help shape the project and maximise local benefits. Register for email newsletters here and if you have any questions or would like to share your views please email the project team or submit your comments via the online feedback form.