NSW council makes $2 million wind farm deal

Infigen Energy has signed a voluntary planning agreement (VPA) with Wellington Council, near Dubbo in New South Wales, for the development of the proposed Bodangora wind farm.

On completion, the proposed 40-turbine project is expected to hand the community more than $2.1 million dollars. The power generated by the $200 million development is also expected to satisfy the energy needs of around 40,000 homes a year.

In addition to creating up to 150 jobs during construction, the development will also provide the Wellington Council with an annual contribution of $25,000 for road maintenance and more than $2 million for a community benefit fund during a 25-year period.

Wellington Mayor Rod Buhr said prior to any work beginning, an independent third party will conduct a traffic study for the project.

“If determined necessary, Infigen will fund the upgrade of road infrastructure,” Mr Buhr said.

Infigen project manager Frank Boland backed the Wellington Mayor, acknowledging it was important Council had sought advice from a number of areas in establishing the VPA.

“This is not something council has come up with by itself. In completing this agreement staff have liaised with the Department of Infrastructure and Planning, and other professionals who have had experience in formulating such agreements in the past,” he said, as reported by the Wellington Times.

“While it is important to remember the project is still before the State Government for approval, having the agreement in place is the right step to ensure the interests of residents are covered now and into the future.”

If given the go ahead by the NSW Department of Planning, the company would begin talks with off take power purchasers.