• A condition has been imposed on the approval of the Robbins Island Wind project which will require the shutdown of the Project for five months of every year due to the Orange-bellied Parrot.
  • The condition seriously impacts the viability of Robbins Island Wind, and more broadly, other renewable energy developments in Tasmania and beyond.
  • ACEN Australia is appealing the shut-down condition on numerous grounds, including that it is disproportionate to the risk the project presents to the Orange-bellied Parrot and that it is not necessary for the project to proceed in an environmentally acceptable manner.
  • Many years of rigorous environmental assessment has determined that the risk of significant impacts on the Orange-bellied Parrot is remote and will be further reduced with the implementation of ACEN Australia’s proposed mitigation measures on Robbins Island.

6 March 2023, TAS – ACEN Australia has lodged an appeal in relation to one of the Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) approval conditions for Robbins Island Wind.

The EPA approval was provided in December 2022 with a condition that requires the wind farm to shut down for five months of each year to manage perceived impacts to the Orangebellied Parrot (OBP).

ACEN Australia Chief Operations Officer David Pollington said while it was pleasing to see the EPA and Circular Head Council had approved the development of Robbins Island Wind, the EPA’s condition limiting the operation of the project to seven months per year was extremely disappointing.

“This unworkable condition is very concerning, not only for the Robbins Island project, but for renewable energy developments in Tasmania, and the ability for the State of Tasmania to achieve its Renewable Energy Action Plan.

“A five-month shut down condition each year is disproportionate to the potential risk to the OBP, ignores expert advice and renders the project commercially unviable. As a consequence, ACEN Australia has no choice but to appeal the condition.

“ACEN Australia is committed to minimising potential impacts to the environment and taking action, especially when it comes to threatened and endangered species like the OBP. The shut-down condition is simply not necessary for the project to proceed in an environmentally acceptable way.

“ACEN Australia, with the support of leading scientists, along with input from government experts, has determined the potential impacts to the OBP to be remote, and has also developed a series of mitigation measures to further reduce potential impacts.”

Mr Pollington said the company believed the wind energy available on Robbins Island – which was among the best in the world – could provide tremendous environmental and economic benefits to Tasmania.

“This includes providing energy to enable Tasmania to develop new industry, such as green hydrogen production, helping to reduce electricity prices in Tasmania, and assisting in Australia’s transition to clean energy,” he said.

“On a variety of fronts the project helps Tasmania and Australia address climate change, which poses the greatest threat to all species including the OBP. We very much look forward to making our case for a more reasonable, workable and practical approach to mitigating potential risks to the OBP.”

The $1.6B project is one of the largest private investments ever for Tasmania and a key development in the next wave of renewable energy development proposed for the State.

The project supports the Government’s Renewable Energy Target to double clean energy generation by 2040, provides much needed energy which is not available for new developments in Tasmania such as the production of green hydrogen, and assists in Australia’s transition to a clean energy future.

Robbins Island Wind is expected to commence construction in 2025, providing up to 400 jobs at peak during construction. The project is expected to inject $600M into the Tasmanian economy during construction, and more than $30M each year for the next 30 years once operational.

This project will need hundreds of skilled workers to build and operate it so it’s an exciting time for a vitally important industry that can provide training, employment and business opportunities for a new generation of workers and businesses in Tasmania.

About ACEN Australia
ACEN has been a partner of UPC Renewables in Australia since 2018 and in 2023 completed a transaction to increase its ownership to 100%. This marks a strategic pivot for ACEN as it embarks on its first wholly owned development and operations platform outside of the Philippines.  

With more than 1GW capacity in construction or shovel ready, and more than 4GW capacity in the development pipeline, its renewable energy assets include solar, wind, battery and pumped hydro and energy storage projects across Australia. ACEN Australia’s first operational project will be New England Solar which has been in construction since 2021. It is one of Australia’s largest solar projects to be participating in the National Electricity Market and is the largest solar project in Australia to be financed on a fully merchant basis. Stubbo Solar in the NSW Central Orana Renewable Energy Zone is ACEN Australia’s second project due to commence construction in early 2023. Other ACEN Australia projects include New England Battery (NSW), Birriwa Solar (NSW), Valley of the Winds (NSW), Aquila Wind (NSW), Phoenix Pumped Hydro (NSW), Robbins Island and Jim’s Plain Wind (TAS) and North East Wind (TAS).

ACEN is the listed energy platform of the Ayala Group. The company has ~4,000 MW of attributable capacity from owned facilities in the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and Australia, with a renewable share of 98%, which is among the highest in the region.

ACEN’s aspiration is to be the largest listed renewables platform in Southeast Asia, with a goal of reaching 20 GW of renewables capacity by 2030. ACEN is committed to transition the company’s generation portfolio to 100% renewable energy by 2025 and to become a Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions company by 2050.

More information:
Dr Michael Connarty – 0407 368 174
ACEN – visit www.acenrenewables.com
ACEN Australia – www.acenrenewables.com.au