Planning and Environment
The Salt Creek Wind Farm uses 15 Vestas V126-3.6MW wind turbines and produces about 172GWh of clean energy each year. This has the potential to power more than 30,000 homes and is enough energy to meet the needs of a town more than twice the size of Warrnambool. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions through clean, renewable energy and contributes to Victoria's renewable energy targets.
As of August 2020, Salt Creek Wind Farm continues to meet expectations when it comes to generation and availability. For the last year, August 2019 to July 2020, the site has generated 169,240 MWh, which is the equivalent to:
- Powering approx. 33,000 households per year
- Removing approx. 182,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere - the equivalent of removing 60,000 cars from the road
Our operations and maintenance contractor, Vestas, has completed the annual servicing of all the Salt Creek wind turbines. The Vestas Service Crew are now based close by at the Dundonnell Wind Farm, while the Vestas Remote Sites Service Crew uses Salt Creek as their base.
The Salt Creek Wind Farm was approved by Planning Permit PL06/304 issued by the Moyne Shire Council in May 2007 and subsequently extended in 2010, 2011 and 2014. This planning permit was amended in February 2016 to permit larger rotors and to increase generation output.
The transmission line is designed to operate at 66kV and therefore did not require a planning permit. However, planning permits were required for the removal of native vegetation associated with the construction of the transmission line. Two planning permits were applied for in 2016 (one for native vegetation within the Corangamite Shire and another within the Moyne Shire) and were granted by the Minister for Planning in early 2017.
The project did not require formal assessment under the State Environment Effects Act 1978 or the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Please find copies of the planning permits for the project below:
Now that the wind farm is in operation, there are a number of ongoing compliance activities. These include environmental compliance such as bird and bat monitoring, noise compliance monitoring and visual assessments to ensure compliance with the planning permit requirements.
A copy of the Bat and Avifauna Management Plan for the project can be viewed below.
Under the planning permit obligations for Salt Creek wind farm Pty Ltd (PL06/304.01), Tilt Renewables is required to submit reports on compliance activities such as bird and bat monitoring, pest animal management, noise compliance monitoring and visual screening plans.
Noise Monitoring – submitted in accordance with the Planning Permit
As per Sections 14 and 15 of the planning permit, an independent post-construction noise monitoring program was commissioned within 2 months from the commissioning of the first turbine and continued for 12 months after the commissioning of the last turbine.
The results of the post-construction noise monitoring program, noise compliance test plan and independent peer review, undertaken in accordance with the New Zealand Standard and Condition 12 of the permit, were sent to Moyne Shire Council within 45 days of the end of the monitoring period, in August 2019.
Under the planning permit, the 12-month post-construction report is not required to be shared publicly, however in accordance with best practice, and the approach taken at the Dundonnell Wind Farm Tilt Renewables has provided the public with copies of the final reports below.
At its ordinary meeting held on 28 July 2020, the Moyne Shire Council resolved that the Year 1 reports in relation to noise compliance at Salt Creek Wind Farm are satisfactory.
The endorsed reports are available to view and download below.
Bird and Bat Monitoring – submitted in accordance with the Planning Permit
As per Section 33 of planning permit, the Bat and Avifauna Management (BAM) Plan must run for a minimum of three years in total (not necessarily sequential years). The year one report was prepared in accordance with the year one reporting requirements stated in the planning permit and was submitted to Moyne Shire Council on time in August 2019.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) also reviewed the year one report.
At its ordinary meeting held on 28 July 2020, the Moyne Shire Council resolved that the Salt Creek Wind Farm Year 1 report in relation to the BAM Plan is satisfactory.
As required by Condition 33 of the Permit, the endorsed BAM Plan report is available to view and download below.
Pest animal reporting – submitted in accordance with the Planning Permit
As part of the Salt Creek Wind Farm Environmental Management Plan, Appendix F: Pest Animal Management Plan, Section 7, in June 2019 Tilt Renewables provided a Pest Animal Management Log and Pest Monitoring Survey Reports (stages 1 - 4) to Moyne Shire Council. As required, this was completed in the 12 months following construction.
As required by the Pest Animal Management Plan, Tilt Renewables consulted with Agriculture Victoria regarding the increase in pest animals at the site. Tilt Renewables will continue to implement the pest control program as discussed with Agriculture Victoria.
On and off-site landscaping – submitted in accordance with the Planning Permit
Visual screening is offered to dwellings within three kilometres of the wind farm site boundary that are visually impacted. Residents within this range have been contacted via mail and were offered a site visit by Tilt Renewables and a qualified landscape architect to review the impact at their property. If needed an appropriate vegetation screening plan was developed.
In accordance with Condition 10 and 11 of the Planning Permit and Management Plan obligations, in June 2019 Tilt Renewables submitted off-site and on-site landscape screening plans and agreements to Moyne Shire Council demonstrating satisfaction of the requirements.