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Resource Documents: Australia (127 items)


Documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are provided to assist anyone wishing to research the issue of industrial wind power and the impacts of its development. The information should be evaluated by each reader to come to their own conclusions about the many areas of debate.

Date added:  November 9, 2016
Aesthetics, Australia, RegulationsPrint storyE-mail story

What empirical research has established about wind farm visual impact

Author:  Crawford, Michael

The substantial body of empirical research now available on wind farm visual impact (VI), from
very credible and impartial teams, shows a consistent and essentially linear relationship between
turbine height, distance and wind farm VI. For any degree of VI (such as the zone of visual
influence, or threshold for visual dominance), if turbine height is doubled, the distance threshold
for that degree of impact also typically doubles.

The research based distances for thresholds for key levels of VI are many times larger than
thresholds proposed by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment in its draft VI
Assessment Bulletin. The Department’s proposed thresholds are repudiated by the consistent
research findings.

The research also identifies a number of other ways in which wind farm VI assessment practices
accepted by NSW planning agencies are defective, in particular relating to the neglected
importance of blade movement for VI, the fact that photomontages tend systematically to
underestimate VI, and the assessment frameworks commonly used are too simplistic to describe
real world experience.

The NSW Government has a responsibility to reassess its draft VI Assessment Bulletin explicitly in
the context of the published research and produce proposals which it can intellectually justify in the
context of that research – which at present it cannot do.

[ABSTRACT; 6th November 2016]

Download original document: “What empirical research has established about wind farm visual impact”

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Date added:  April 7, 2016
Australia, Contracts, EconomicsPrint storyE-mail story

Neighbor participation agreement with the Moorabool Wind Farm

Author:  Moorabol Wind Farm, Westwind Energy

Thank you for meeting with us on Monday to talk about the Moorabool Wind Farm.

We value all feedback received in respect of the project from you, other neighbours to the project and many other members from the broader community. We have reflected on your concerns voiced in the meeting, and have considered how we can best support your intentions to sell your property if the wind farm is built.

As part of this process, we contacted a Ballarat real estate agent to discuss his opinion on the impact of the wind farm on neighbouring property values. The agent we spoke to has 17 years experience selling properties in your area as well as properties around the Waubra wind farm. He is fully aware of the perceived impact the wind farm may have on properties, and he indicated he has no recollection of a wind farm causing a property to be sold below market value. He did indicate that it could potentially take slightly longer for the property to sell depending on the turbine locations relative to the dwellings. We advised the dwelling on the property was greater than one kilometre from a proposed turbine site, and his opinion is there will be little if any impact to the sales process or price. He also indicated rural properties in the Ballan area are in high demand from Melbourne residents looking for a sea change, as well as Geelong and Ballarat residents looking to move closer to Melbourne. We are hopeful that this information can give you some comfort that your property is desirable, in an interesting location, and is likely to be sold at market value. We would be happy to share the agents contact details with you if you would like to discuss this further with him. We also discussed fees associated with the sales and marketing of a rural property, and the services available for consultation to prepare your house for the best possible sales outcome. The agent indicated that $4,000 in marketing fees will register your property on all the major internet sales sites and list advertisements in the local and Melbourne papers. He specified that guidance on improvements required to secure the most lucrative sales price on your house is completed by the real estate agent, and this service is included as part of the 2.2% agency fees. He doesn’t know of any agencies that complete this service in your area and it is standard practice to include this assistance during the consultation process with a real estate agent.

We also discussed in our meeting that a direct financial benefit for wind farm neighbours can be achieved by entry into a voluntary participation agreement. Through this agreement, neighbours, like the host landholders, will receive a direct financial benefit from the wind farm, and in return accept some of the conditions that the host landholders also accept.

In response to your concerns as a neighbour to the wind farm, we are pleased to offer you a participation agreement on the following basic terms.

As indicated in the meeting, this agreement does not have ‘gag clauses’ or take away your right to complain about the wind farm. However, you will see in section 4.7 [see below] of the agreement, that the landholder agrees not to object to any development approval or other application or procedure made or initiated by the developer. Given the wind farm already has got a planning permit this clause is probably of little consequence for you. In addition to this clause section 9 [see below] does require the terms of this letter and attached agreement to remain confidential.

(((( o ))))

4.1(a) The Landholder acknowledges and agrees that the Annual Fee is adequate compensation and consideration for all matters contemplated by this Agreement including (without limitation) any nuisance caused by the construction, use and operation of the Wind Farm.

4.1(b) Without limiting the generality of clause 4.1(a), in consideration of the Annual Fee the Landowner agrees that the Landowner will not:

(i) require the Developer to provide any acoustic suppression or treatment measures in order to minimise any noise impacts resulting from the Wind Farm on the Property or any Dwelling or Permitted Dwelling on the Property (Acoustic Suppression); or

(ii) require the Developer to provide any landscaping treatment to the Property in order to minimise the visual impact of the Wind Farm on the Property or any dwelling on the Property (Landscaping); and

(iii) make any request under the Planning Permit:

(A) for any Acoustic Suppression or attenuation measures; or

(B) for any Landscaping for visual suppression or attenuation measures.

4.3 The Landholder shall not carry out, or allow to be carried out, any development or use of the Property that is likely to unreasonably diminish the security or utility of the Property or the Site for use as part of the Wind Farm. In particular, without the prior written consent of the Developer, the Landholder shall not:

(a) construct any dwelling on the Property additional to the Dwelling and Permitted Dwelling;

(b) erect any device to convert wind energy on the Property, other than a water pumping or other windmill no higher than 25 metres above ground level solely and exclusively for the generation and supply of electricity to the Dwelling, Permitted Dwelling or other buildings and uses on the Property; or

(c) otherwise obstruct or interfere with the potential operation or efficiency of wind turbine generators that form part of the Wind Farm.

4.6 To the extent permitted by law, the Landholder releases the Developer and its Related Persons from any damage, loss, cost, expense or Claim arising from or relating to any impact or effect of the Wind Farm on the Landholder or the Property, including but not limited to impacts or effects created by the construction, use and operation of the Wind Farm.

4.7 The Landholder must not object to any Development Approval or planning or other application or procedure made or initiated by the Developer or any other entity for any use or development of the Site or any neighbouring property that is related to or necessary for the Wind Farm, and must provide all reasonable assistance requested by the Developer for the purposes of obtaining approvals.

9(a) The parties expressly acknowledge that the contents of this agreement (and any documents or information provided by one party to another pursuant to or in connection with this agreement) are confidential and shall not be disclosed to any person except …

Download original document: “Participation Agreement – Moorabool Wind Farm”

Download original letter: “Participation Agreement with the Moorabool Wind Farm – Basic Terms”

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Date added:  December 13, 2015
Australia, Health, Noise, RegulationsPrint storyE-mail story

Bullet points for Draft Wind Farm State Code acoustics review

Author:  David, Antoine

From: Dr Antoine David, PhD, MEng, MAAS, Technical Specialist (Noise), Technical Support Unit, Regulatory Capability and Customer Service, Department of Environment and Heritage Protectsion

Sent: Wednesday, 26 August 2015

To: Paul Roff, Manager, Environmental Planning, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection

CC: Corro EHP ESR RCaCS, Lindsay Delzoppo, Lawrie Wade, David Cook

(((( o ))))

From: Tony Roberts, Deputy Director-General, Environmental Policy and Planning, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection

Sent: Monday, 7 September 2015

To: Paul Roff, Lawrie Wade (Planning Support)

We have reviewed the draft code (noting that it is based on independent technical advice) and have no concerns.

(((( o ))))

From: Paul Roff

Sent: Monday, 24 August 2015

To: David Cook, Manager, Technical Support and Community Response, Regulatory Capability and Customer Service, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection

Cc: Carro EHP ESR RCaCS, Lindsay Delzoppo, Antoine David, Carro EHP EPP DDG, Lawrie Wade

I also have been asked to prepare a response to this letter. Lawrie Wade tells me there was a previous letter stating out position that wind farms should not be an ERA. The reply letter needs to restate out opposition to Wind Farms being an ERA.

(((( o ))))

Download original document: “Right To Information release 15-127”

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Date added:  August 5, 2015
Australia, Impacts, RegulationsPrint storyE-mail story

Final Report — Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines

Author:  Australia Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines


Recommendation 1

The committee recommends that an Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Industrial Sound (IESC) be established by law, through provisions similar to those which provide for the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development.

The provisions establishing the IESC on Industrial Sound should state that the Scientific Committee must conduct ‘independent, multi-disciplinary research into the adverse impacts and risks to individual and community health and wellbeing associated with wind turbine projects and any other industrial projects which emit sound and vibration energy’.

Recommendation 2

The committee recommends that the federal government assign the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Industrial Sound with the following responsibilities:

Recommendation 3

The committee recommends that the following provision be inserted into a new section 14 of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000: If the Regulator receives an application from a wind power station that is properly made under section 13, the Regulator must:

Recommendation 4

The committee recommends that a provision be inserted into Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 stipulating that wind energy generators operating in states that do not require compliance with the National Environment Protection (Wind Turbine Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise) Measure (NEPM) are ineligible to receive Renewable Energy Certificates.

Recommendation 5

The committee recommends that the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Industrial Sound (IESC) establish a formal channel to communicate its advice and research priorities and findings to the Environmental Health Standing Committee (enHealth). The IESC should explain to enHealth members on a regular basis and on request:

Recommendation 6

The committee recommends that the proposed Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Industrial Sound develop National Windfarm Guidelines addressing the following matters:

As per recommendation 4 of the committee’s interim report, eligibility to receive Renewable Energy Certificates should be made subject to general compliance with the National Wind Farm Guidelines and specific compliance to the NEPM.

Recommendation 7

The committee recommends that the Australian Government amend the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 and the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act Regulations 2000 to enable partial suspension and point in time suspension of renewable energy certificates for wind farm operators that are found to have:

The committee recommends that the Clean Energy Regulator cannot accredit a power station until it is wholly constructed, fully commissioned and all post construction approval requirements have been met.

Recommendation 8

The committee recommends that all State Governments consider shifting responsibility for monitoring wind farms in their jurisdiction from local councils to the State Environment Protection Authority.

Recommendation 9

The committee recommends that State Governments consider adopting a fee-for-service licencing system payable by wind farm operators to State Environment Protection Authorities, along the lines of the system currently in place in New South Wales.

Recommendation 10

The committee recommends that the federal Department of the Environment prepare a quarterly report collating the wind farm monitoring and compliance activities of the State Environment Protection Authorities. The report should be tabled in the federal Parliament by the Minister for the Environment. The Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Industrial Sound should coordinate the receipt of State data and prepare the quarterly report. The Department of the Environment should provide appropriate secretarial assistance.

Recommendation 11

The committee recommends that the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) continue to monitor and publicise Australian and international research relating to wind farms and health. The NHMRC should fund and commission primary research that the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Industrial Sound identifies as necessary.

Recommendation 12

The committee recommends that under circumstances where the regulatory framework provided for pursuant to recommendations 8 and 9 cannot be enforced due to a lack of cooperation by one or more states, a national regulatory body be established under commonwealth legislation for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing wind farm operations.

Recommendation 13

The committee recommends that the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) conduct a performance audit of the Clean Energy Regulator’s (CER) compliance with its role under the legislation. In particular, the committee recommends that the CER examine:

Recommendation 14

The committee recommends that the Australian Government direct the Productivity Commission to conduct research into the impact of wind power electricity generation on retail electricity prices.

Recommendation 15

The Renewable Energy Target should be amended so that all new investments in renewable energy between 2015 and 2020 will be eligible to create renewable energy certificates for a period of no more than five years. Existing investments in renewable energy should be grandfathered so that they continue to receive renewable energy certificates under the Act subject to annual audits of compliance.

The Government should develop a methodology for renewable energy projects so that they can qualify for Australian Carbon Credit Units. The Government should develop this methodology over a five year period in consultation with the renewable energy industry and the methodology should consider the net, lifecycle carbon emission impacts of renewable energy.

If the Government does not adopt the above changes, the Government should instead limit eligibility for receipt of Renewable Energy Certificates to five years after the commissioning of turbines.

Download the Final Report.

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