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Largest wind farm in Australia proposed for Western Victoria

4633 Views 31 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Eureka!

Giant wind farm generates heat
By Rod Myer, Melissa Marino
March 17, 2005

Australia's largest wind farm - a massive 204-tower complex in Victoria's Western District - will be built if an application by operator Southern Hydro is successful.

But plans for the wind farm between the towns of Macarthur and Hawkesdale have angered some of locals, who have dubbed it a "wind factory".

Southern Hydro will apply next month to build the wind farm, which would produce 337 megawatts of power and cost $650 million.

If approved, the wind generators would spread across three farms and 5500 hectares of undulating grazing land.

Tom Robertson, whose property would be home to up to 75 per cent of the turbines, said he courted wind companies to come to the area after witnessing opposition to a wind farm proposal on the coast near Portland.

"We went to the planning hearings in Portland and saw it was crazy down there, so we said 'come inland'," he said.

Farmers who, like Mr Robertson, have towers built on their properties are likely to earn $4000 to $8000 a tower in annual rent.

But not all farmers in the Macarthur area are happy.

Annie Gardner, a sheep farmer whose property is a kilometre from the proposed wind farm site, is leading the fight against the development.

She believes proximity to the wind farm could devalue her property by up to 40 per cent.

"We will experience a loss of income upwards of $50,000," she said, citing the impact of construction work and vibration from the turbines on her super-fine woolgrowing business.

But Mr Robertson said he could see no downside to the wind farm, and would be comfortable to live with the turbines nearby.

"We dont live in fear. We can't find people who live among (wind turbines) and are disturbed," he said.

The wind development manager for Southern Hydro, Brian Hall, said the wind farm proposal complied with Victorian standards.

He said neighbouring properties were considered during panel hearings before farms were approved.

"There is no evidence that farm animals can't cohabit with a wind farm, but if someone has specific evidence we'd be happy to consider it," Mr Hall said.

Southern Hydro expects the wind farm to be approved by late this year and construction, which could take up to 18 months, to start next year.

Moyne Shire chief executive Graham Shiell said the wind farm would bring 600 jobs to the region during construction.

Twenty jobs would continue once it was completed.

Mr Shiell said the farm would also boost rate income for the shire by $300,000, or 3 per cent.

"That can be put back into infrastructure," he said.

Local residents have been inundated with information from people for and against the wind farms.

An anti-wind farm group, Landscape Guardians, is holding a meeting at Hawkesdale tonight, while Southern Hydro has planned an information day next week to allow the community to see the proposed layout of the wind farm and offer feedback.
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I think the neighbour has a point. But i love alternative power sources. They should build wind farms, just not near ppl's homes... don't think 1 km is that close tho. Hopefully OZ can build more of this type of energy, so that we dont depend on too much oil..
1km shouldnt be anything to complain about.
much better to live 1km from a boring windmill than 10km from stinking dirty mine big hole in ground that will never be the same long after the goodness of the earth has been milked and filled with soiled nappies and two minute noodle wrappers.
think we should just grow up and go nucellar, the effects of a problem with one although could be huge, must be about the same then another 50 years of using brown coal. just put it out in a country town, they could be happy for the jobs, etc
^ the big prob is the waste it generates. I think the solar towers should be built, with a wind and hydro to back it up. I mean if 10 solar towers were built, it would power more than 10% of the population. That's pretty good considering its just the sun. Wind farms are great, its not like we are strapped for land. We could probably built 1 mil in the outback and no one would notice.
I'm sure if we put our minds to it we could create something!
zulu69 said:
I think the neighbour has a point. But i love alternative power sources. They should build wind farms, just not near ppl's homes... don't think 1 km is that close tho. Hopefully OZ can build more of this type of energy, so that we dont depend on too much oil..
Well, we don't really use oil to generate electricity. We use mostly coal, which we have an abundance of. we could cut off all external influence and we'd still have all our domestic energy needs covered for the next 200 years.

That said, it's still a good idea to invest in clean energy, especially given the rather large proportion of Australia that's empty land. There are many places that get sun on a very high proportion of the year. I don't know why the people of the Gold Coast haven't looked to putting solar panels on their rooves, what with there being 300 days of sun there on average per year.
more importantly how tall are the wind tubines going to be? lol
i better tell Ravenshoe to buy more to retain their status then.
guess that is the most important factor CUL
While we're on the subject of Wind Turbines, here's one of the Ravenshoe Windy Hill wind Farm, operated by Stanwell.

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The first windfarm in SA was built 2003.
The Starfish Hill Wind Farm is located across two hills on the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula near Cape Jervis and was the first wind farm built in South Australia. The site was selected because the area has consistently high winds, is sparsely populated and the land was previously cleared for farming and grazing.

Starfish Hill rises to a height of 306 metres along a north-south ridge about three kilometres from the coastline. Salt Creek Hill, west of Starfish Hill on another north-south ridge, has a height of 220 metres and is about one kilometre from the coast. West of Salt Creek Hill, steep cliffs rise 100 metres above the sea.

There are 23 wind turbines with 15 located on Salt Creek Hill and 8 on Starfish Hill. Each of the turbines has 3 blades with a tower height of 68 metres and overall height of 100 metres from the ground to the blade tip.

The wind farm provides enough energy to meet the needs of about 18,000 households (ie. 2% of the State's residential customers) and adds 1% to the available generation capacity in South Australia.

checkout size of blades

100m high to tip of blade!!

something about windturbines. even though there quite tall and imposing, they still fit in with landscape. maybe its goes back to windmill day era?
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65m towers at Albany,WA which is current largest windfarm?

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The Portland windfarm UC in Victoria will be largest in oz at 195mW.the 120 turbines will be 67m tall.
rob_ said:
think we should just grow up and go nucellar
Of course we should. The problem is, so much of the community has a total lack of understanding as to what this means. They hear 'nuclear' and they panic.
even Tassie has wind farms.


The Woolnorth wind farm is on the far north-west tip of Tasmania. The farm will eventually reach an electrical capacity of 130 MW, producing enough energy to power every home in Launceston.

The wind towers at Woolnorth are the result of a partnership between Hydro Tasmania and Vestas, a Danish wind turbine manufacturer. They are the largest commercial turbines yet installed in the southern hemisphere, with the towers (37-55) reaching a height of 60 metres and the turbine blades measuring 66 metres in diameter.

The Woolnorth wind farm project is proceeding as a staged development. The 10.5 MW stage one with six Vestas 1.75 MW wind turbines (completed in August 2002)along with the 22 kV transmission line to Smithton. Construction of the Bluff Point stage began in September 2002 and completed in late 2003. This stage will have a capacity of 54 MW with 31 wind turbines. Construction of the remaining stages of the full 130 MW wind farm will be considered in conjunction with other planned wind developments.

now thats a big blade

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has this started grol?
Setting up a wind farm is a long and involved process, however everhting seems to be going smoothly.

The number of proposed turbines has been reduced to 183 but they have been increased in size to produce the same amount of power. The turbines will now be monster 90m towers with 45m long blades with a total height of 135m!!!

It was given federal government approval in August last year and is now going through the last stages of the planning permit process.

A planning panel has been set up to investigate the project and this will have hearings sometime in the next few months.

They have a webiste for the project here:
wow 90m high. 183 of them! should look awesome.
zulu69 said:
it would power more than 10% of the population. That's pretty good considering its just the sun.

just the sun!? where do you think the power for windfarms or hydroelectric dams or the power for your car or even the power for you right this second comes from?!?!?!? look around you, all the energy comes from the sun...
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