Work on the approved upgrades of Aarons Pass Road for the construction and operation of the Crudine Ridge Wind Farm, located south-west of Mudgee, will start this week, Monday August 19.
The New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment (DPE), following a decision by the Independent Planning Commission (IPC), had approved upgrades for Aarons Pass Road for the delivery of 37 wind turbines for the 135-megawatt project.
The modification aimed to reduce the maximum number of wind turbines from 77 to 37 and a revised road design for Aarons Pass Road which would see more trees cleared in order to deliver components to the site.
The process, which began in May and included submissions from the public was given the green light on June 21, earlier this year.
CWP Renewables Project Director Brendan McAvoy said the Crudine Ridge Wind Farm project team had been working with local landholders and undertaking the improvements to Aarons Pass Road will have some short-term disruptions, however the long-term benefits will be improved and safer road access.
"For users of Aarons Pass Road, they will notice surveyors on the road, ecologists looking at vegetation, selective clearing and pruning of vegetation, relocation of certain vegetation species, earthworks and general construction," he said.
"The upgrade of Aarons Pass Road will include the construction of passing bays.
"We will work closely with the Mid-Western Regional Council to minimise impacts to the local community along Aarons Pass Road, and the New South Wales DPE to ensure the project meets its obligations."
The project was met with controversy in December 2018 after construction was abruptly halted at the site when the DPE threatened to take legal action against CWP Renewables.
The Department found that CWP Renewables had breached its conditions of consent by commencing construction of the wind farm without first upgrading the Aarons Pass Road.
The Department imposed a $15,000 penalty notice on CWP Renewables for the breach.
CWP Renewables claims the project will employ up to 240 people during the construction period with 45 staff already based in Mudgee. This includes constructing a new substation, 15km of transmission lines and 50km of internal roads to erect and service the turbines.
Furthermore, they say two community funds will be established to raise $3.3 million over the 20-year life of the project. The 134-megawatt facility, to be located 45km south of Mudgee, is expected to generate electricity to power 55,000 homes each year.