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Ecological Research & Management

Wind Energy

Flora and fauna impact assessment and research for proposed wind energy facilities.

Collision risk modelling for birds and bats, and post construction mortality monitoring.

  • Flora and fauna assessments are completed for each wind farm and include an impact assessment to determine whether impacts on listed species and communities would be significant.  In New South Wales, this would be in the form of a Seven Part Test.
  • Bird and Bat Utilisation Surveys are designed and undertaken by BL&A within a framework suitable for statistical analysis of the data.  This has been undertaken at over 50 wind farms within Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania.
  • Targeted investigations of listed species, or groups of species, that may be sensitive to the proposed wind farm.  Examples are provided below.
  • Waterbird and shorebird surveys: Dundonnell (Vic), Mount Gellibrand (Vic), Macarthur (Vic), Ryan Corner (Vic), Wattle Point  (SA)and Robbins Island wind farms
  • Eagle surveys (Wedge-tailed Eagle and White-bellied Eagle): Mount Mercer, Yaloak, Moorabool, Cherry Tree and Robbins Island (Tas) wind farms
  • Parrot and Cockatoo Surveys (Orange-bellied Parrot, Superb Parrot, Swift Parrot, Carbaby’s Cockatoo): Coonooer Bridge (Vic), Nirranda (Vic), Bald Hills (Vic), Mt Gambier (SA), Bridgewater Lakes (Vic), Queenscliff (Vic), Wonthaggi (Vic), Rugby (NSW), Emu Downs (WA), Badgingarra (WA), Nilgen Wind Farm (WA), Granville Harbour (Tas), Jims Plain (Tas) and Robbins Island (Tas) wind farms
  • Brolga surveys: Waubra (Vic), Mt Gellibrand (Vic), Macarthur (Vic), Ryan Corner (Vic), Chepstow (Vic), Berrybank (Vic), Mortlake East & South (Vic), Darlington (Vic), Stockyard Hill (Vic) and Dundonnell (Vic) wind farms
  • Owl surveys (Powerful Owl and Barking Owl): Coonooer Bridge (Vic),  Crowlands (Vic), Baynton (Vic), Lexton (Vic), Lal Lal (Vic), Taralga (NSW), Ararat (Vic) and Waubra North (Vic) wind farms
  • Fat-tailed Dunnart surveys: Coonooer Bridge (Vic), Stockyard Hill (Vic) and Waubra North (Vic) wind farms
  • Bat surveys (including listed and non-listed species): Coonooer Bridge (Vic), Cherry Tree (Vic), Granville Harbour (Tas), Robbins Island (Tas), Stockyard Hill (Vic), Capital (NSW), Woodlawn (NSW), Nirranda (Vic), Macarthur (Vic), Ryan Corner (Vic) and Hawkesdale (Vic) wind farms
  • Striped Legless Lizard surveys: Coonooer Bridge (Vic), Dundonnell (Vic), Mt Gellibrand (Vic), Macarthur (Vic), Stockyard Hill (Vic) and Waubra North (Vic) wind farms
  • Frogs and toadlets (Growling Grass Frog, Brown Toadlet, Southern Toadlet): Cherry Tree (Vic) and Baynton (Vic) wind farms
  • Golden Sun Moth:  Coonooer Bridge (Vic), Stockyard Hill (Vic) and Waubra North (Vic) wind farms
  • Listed flora: Coonooer Bridge (Vic), Berrybank, (Vic) Darlington (Vic), Macarthur (Vic), Ryan Corner (Vic), Crowlands (Vic), Baynton (Vic), Lexton (Vic), Moorabool (Vic), Stockyard Hill (Vic) and Waubra North (Vic) wind farms.
  • BL&A has developed a bird collision risk modelling package for wind farms that assists proponents and decision-makers to:
    • Understand geographical differences in the use of wind farm sites by species of concern
    • Compare different wind farm layouts and turbine numbers to minimise collision risk and
    • Present modelling results with appropriate statistical confidence limits.
  • Expert witness on flora and fauna issues at many wind farms for the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Planning Panels Victoria hearings and New South Wales Land and Environment Court.  Examples are provided below.
    • Cherry Tree Wind Farm (Victoria): VCAT
    • Taralga Wind Farm (New South Wales): NSW LEC
    • Stockyard Hill Wind Farm (Victoria): Planning Panel
  • Preparation and implementation of post-construction management plans including those detailed below.
    • Pest plant and animal management plan
    • Bat and avifauna management plan
    • Construction environmental management plan
    • Native vegetation management plan
    • Net gain offset management plan
  • Bird and bat impact monitoring programs can be developed and implemented by BL&A.  Programs include carcass searches and statistical analysis of results to determine whether any significant impact occurs.  Examples are provided below.
    • Toora Wind Farm (4 year program – completed)
    • Wonthaggi Wind Farm (3 year program – completed)
    • Bald Hills Wind Farm, Victoria (2 year program, ongoing)
    • Capital Wind Farm, New South Wales (3 year program, ongoing)
    • Woodlawn Wind Farm, New South Wales (2 year program, ongoing)
    • Mount Millar Wind Farm, South Australia (seasonal investigation)
    • Challicum Hills Wind Farm, Victoria (2 year program)
    • Starfish Hill Wind Farm, South Australia (2 year program)
    • Wattle Point Wind Farm, South Australia (shorebird impacts)
    • Emu Downs Wind Farm, Western Australia (2 year program, completed)