ACEN wind farm facing new legal challenge over parrot

Close-up of the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot sitting on a branch
The critically endangered orange-bellied parrot (Image: Shutterstock)

ACEN Australia‘s proposed 900MW wind farm project on Robbins Island in Tasmania is facing a fresh legal challenge from local group Circular Head Coastal Awareness Network (CHCAN) in the Supreme Court, according to ABC News.

Related article: Plibersek vetoes Vic’s renewables terminal at Port Hastings

ACEN Australia plans to build a 100-turbine wind farm on the island after successfully overturning an environmental condition in November that required the turbines to cease operation for five months of the year during the migration of the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot.

CHCAN wants the seasonal turbine shutdown condition upheld, with chair Steve Pilkington saying, “We’ve been fighting this project for four years, and … we’ve had a logical argument that this is the most important environmental place that you could pick to have a wind farm, and it’s wrong.”

ACEN Australia won the right to operate its turbines year-round following a comprehensive environmental assessment and agreeing to measures that included reducing the number of wind turbines and their heights, refining the footprint of the project and incorporating technology designed to prevent turbine blades hitting birds.

In addition, ACEN Australia must pay $100,000 for every death of a wedge-tailed eagle or orange-bellied parrot caused by its wind turbines.

The Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal said the wind project posed a “very low” risk to the recovery of the orange-bellied parrot.

Related article: Ark Energy withdraws plans for Western Plains Wind Farm

The case is expected to go before the Supreme Court of Tasmania in late February.

Previous articleAs Australia’s net zero transition threatens to stall, rooftop solar could help provide the power we need
Next articleTotal Eren to build NT’s first green hydrogen hub