RICHARD Wynne, the Minister for Planning, has approved the planning permit applications for the construction of the Delburn Wind Farm, a Victorian first for planation-based wind farms.

Four of the 33 turbines are proposed to be located within South Gippsland Shire.

In issuing the permit on March 27, 2022, the Minister also approved the release the 224-page Planning Panel Report that sets out the findings and recommendations of the panel.

This follows the 12-day public hearing in October and November 2021 in which OSMI and their technical specialists, relevant government departments and numerous members of the community had the opportunity to present information to the panel to assist them in their deliberations.

In recommending approval be granted for the wind farm and terminal station, the panel noted the fire risks associated with the battery energy storage system (BESS) require further consideration. Therefore, it recommended the BESS not be approved at this time.

The project team believes that this is prudent given the number of battery fires that have occurred since the permit application was lodged.

David Smith, head of Australia at Cubico Sustainable Investments, welcomed the approval of the permit applications and thanked the community for their input to the project’s development.

“Cubico has a strong desire to build positive and lasting relationships with the communities around our projects and we would like to thank those who took the time to make a submission or presentation about the Delburn Wind Farm to the panel,” Mr Smith said.

“We look forward to continuing to work with OSMI and the community as the project progresses into construction and operations,” he said.

On receiving the approval, Peter Marriott, OSMI Australia’s executive director of development, said: “Obviously we are pleased to receive these approvals, however as there is a lot of detail for us to work through in the panel report and the approval documents, we will need to take some time to review these materials before commenting on it further.”

He encouraged the community to stay in touch with the project as it progressed.

“People can access information on our website, Facebook page, the Community and Stakeholder Consultative Committee or by dropping into our office on the Ridgway in Mirboo North,” he said.

The panel report and the permits can be viewed on the DELWP website at Delburn Wind Farm (planning.vic.gov.au).