Dundonnell Wind Farm Project – Tilt Renewables80 wind turbines and will be connected to the National Electricity Market via a 38km 220kV transmission line to the Mortlake Power Station.
The Dundonnell Wind Farm project will include 80 wind turbines and will be connected to the National Electricity Market via a 38km 220kV transmission line to the Mortlake Power Station.
Project offset obligations
The wind farm triggered requirements for offsets for two vegetation communities that were protected as Matters of National Environmental Significance on the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. The project also triggered requirements for five threatened species at a state level. This required them to find a challenging list of Species Biodiversity Equivalence Units for threatened species endemic to native grasslands.
Securing offset requirements
Using our network of committed landowners, Vegetation Link was able to secure the two federal offset requirements at a single site. We then worked with Tilt Renewables and their ecological consultants, the offset site landowner, the Department of Environment and Energy and Trust for Nature to navigate the many steps involved in setting up a Federal Offset site.
Some of the Species Units required by the Wind Farm Project were very challenging to secure. For example, the Derrinallum Billy Buttons and Drunken Tussock Grass have very restricted modelled critical habitat. With limited credits for all of the required species on the Native Vegetation Offset Register, we had to find new sites to meet the requirements of the wind farm. Two new offset sites were assessed and registered to supply over 98% of the required offset.
Unfortunately, one tiny offset requirement remained unmet. Vegetation Link recognised the potential of one of the newly registered sites to support the threatened species in question based on habitat at the site. With the help of ecological consultants and the landowner, the presence of the species was confirmed. By demonstrating that the threatened species occurred at the site, despite the fact it was not modelled under the State Government Guidelines, Tilt Renewables were then able to apply for an alternative offset strategy and once approved, meet all their offset obligations.
Construction of the project is now underway.