Ark Energy, a subsidiary of Korea Zinc, has secured approval for its Bowmans Creek wind farm from the NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPC).

To be located in the town of Muswellbrook, a 347MW project is being developed with an investment of A$569m within the Hunter-Central Coast Renewable Energy Zone (REZ).

Most of the turbines will be located within the Muswellbrook and Singleton council areas, with a few in the Upper Hunter area.

A total of 60 wind turbines were proposed for the project in 2021 but this has been reduced to 56 in response to community feedback.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment recommended the IPC grant development consent with conditions.

The project was referred to a commission panel in November 2023.

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The commission panel noted in a statement that: “The proposed site is suitable for renewable energy development given its location within the Hunter-Central Coast REZ, proximity to existing electricity transmission networks, topography, wind resources, access to the regional road network and avoidance of major environmental constraints.”

Ark Energy development head Martin Poole stated: “We first introduced this project to the local community in 2018 and have been progressing it through the NSW planning process over the past five years.

“We listened to the community to iterate the design and address concerns, and we are thrilled that Bowmans Creek wind farm has been approved.

“We look forward to this important project contributing to the state’s renewable energy targets and helping to drive down wholesale electricity prices.”

The selected site and its vicinity are predominantly used for farming and grazing, and the region is known for its coal mines and two coal-fired power stations.

In March 2021, Korea Zinc, the parent company of Ark Energy, entered a partnership with Spanish utility Acciona to co-develop the 1.02GW MacIntyre wind complex in Queensland, Australia.

Ark Energy will hold a 30% stake in the wind farm, while Acciona will maintain a 70% stake and manage the development, construction, operations and maintenance of the project.

Construction on the MacIntyre complex commenced in May 2022.