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Twin plans over to community  

A wind farm which could generate enough electricity to power 70,000 homes will be at the centre of two public information sessions next month.

Pacific Hydro will hold the meetings to canvass feedback to its $150 million to $200 million project earmarked for Crowlands, between Ararat and Avoca.

Pacific Hydro community relations manager Emily Wood said the company had two proposed layouts, one for less than 70 turbines and another for 70 turbines, to put to the community.

Ms Wood said both projects would generate the same amount of energy but each would use different turbines.

She said feedback to the wind farm project, first proposed several years ago, had been positive.

“There are some landholders who we have spoken to, to see if they are interested in hosting turbines and some are interested.”

Pacific Hydro built the $76 million Challicum Hills wind farm, which began operating in 2003.

“The nearby Challicum Hills wind farm has been a great success for the local community and provides enough no-emission electricity to supply 25,000 Victorian homes each year,” she said.

“We hope the Crowlands wind farm will see a similar outcome, to help us reduce our impact on climate change and support the local community.”

The company hopes to take advantage of the State Government’s Renewable Energy Legislation which requires energy retailers to purchase 10 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2016 in an effort to reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions.

Ms Wood said the company hoped to submit a planning permit for the wind farm to the State Government within the next few months.

The latest wind farm project comes after an announcement that the state’s first community-owned wind farm could be built near Daylesford.

Information sessions about the Crowlands wind farm will be held on October 18, from noon to 8pm, at the Crowlands Hall and on October 19 at the Ararat Town Hall.


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