Mainstream Renewable Power and its partner Someva Renewables have secured a permit to investigate the feasibility of a 500MW wind farm project in the Australian state of New South Wales.

The Forestry Corporation of New South Wales has awarded the permit for the wind farm, to be situated between Lithgow and Bathurst, 200km from Sydney’s Central Business District.

Known as the Sunny Corner project, the facility would be one of the first wind farms within a New South Wales state plantation forest.

The Sunny Corner project received the permit after a competitive tender and selection process lasting 15 months.

The wind farm is expected to supply electricity to 300,000 homes and offset more than one million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

The forthcoming investigative stages will involve setting up a meteorological mast and engaging with local stakeholders including communities, First Nations, forest users, councils and businesses.

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These interactions aim to understand the local environment and collaborate on the design of a community benefits programme.

Following investigative stages, the project will undergo the standard development process, which include planning approvals from the New South Wales government.

During development, construction and operation phases, the Sunny Corner state forest will remain open for forestry operations and recreational activities.

The Sunny Corner state forest is predominantly used for industrial softwood production and is managed by the state-owned Forestry Corporation.

Mainstream group CEO Mary Quaney stated: “We applaud the vision of the Forestry Corporation in seeking to diversify their land use to support the renewable energy transition, and we recognise the important role that Sunny Corner wind farm could play in New South Wales’ energy transition, providing clean, affordable and reliable power.”

Forestry Corporation of New South Wales CEO Anshul Chaudhary stated: “We are delighted to have awarded a permit to Mainstream and Someva to investigate a wind farm in Sunny Corner state forest.

“After a highly competitive tender process, this will be one of four wind farms to be investigated in a New South Wales state softwood plantation.”

The forest is ideal for wind farms due to its large, windy areas with existing infrastructure such as powerlines and roads.

The permit is the first since the New South Wales parliament amended the Forestry Act 2012 to permit renewable energy projects in state forests in 2021.

The Sunny Corner project is a 51:49 joint venture between Mainstream Renewable Power and Someva Renewables.