QLD wind farm code to encourage renewables

The Queensland draft Wind Farm State Code, exploring the standards required for assessing applications for the development of the state’s prospective wind farms, is being prepared.

The code outlines the restrictions, in terms of appropriate materials, proximity and noise impacts that play a role in the successful integration of a wind farm.

It has been amended to help facilitate the progress of wind farm expansion in fitting locations, so they avoid adverse impacts on the community and environment.

The Draft Wind Farm State Code and Draft Wind Farm State Code Planning Guideline were released for public consultation between April and May.

All comments received during the consultation period will be considered and the code and guideline will be finalised and incorporated in the State Development Assessment Provisions. The final code is anticipated to commence in late 2014.

State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Jeff Seeney said most local planning schemes don’t include provisions specific to wind farms, nor do most councils have the expertise required to assess these technical developments.

“This document, once finalised and integrated into the State Development Assessment Provisions, will provide consistent guidelines for the potential development of wind farms in Queensland and certainty for the community,” Mr Seeney said.

Currently, Queensland has two wind farms – a 12MW wind farm on the Atherton Tablelands and a 0.5MW farm on Thursday Island – both of which fall on the small end of the wind farm spectrum, compared with other national renewable projects.

There are currently four wind farms undergoing proposal that could come under the new wind farm code, which was originally predicted to come into effect as early as July 1.