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$24 million wind farm planned for Southern Grampians Shire  

It is the first wind farm proposal for the shire, and will be located along its border with the Moyne Shire between Penshurst and Caramut. Between 13 and 15 wind turbines have been proposed with a maximum nominal rated power of 29.9 Megawatts (MW). The Morton’s Lane Wind Farm – on two properties at Penshurst and Caramut – crosses the border between Southern Grampians and Moyne shires. It is expected to take six to nine months to build the wind turbines once planning is approved. Up to 90 jobs The wind farm is likely to create between 60 and 90 direct and indirect jobs in the region during construction, with four on-going jobs afterwards for operations and maintenance during its lifetime of 20 to 25 years. Over this time, the rates collected between both shires are likely to be around $2.5 million to $3 million for a 25-year operating life. Although 13 wind turbines does not appear to be a great number when compared to the 183 wind turbine development at Macarthur, it would still provide enough electricity to meet the needs of approximately 17,257 Victorian households each year. Estimates predict it would generate 91,980 MW hours of electricity each year through clean energy, a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions up to 119,574 tonnes per year of carbon dioxide. This amount was the equivalent of removing 27,615 cars off the road each year. Good road access The proposal was developed over the last three years, with the site chosen because it had good road access and was near high voltage, sub-transmission power lines. The site was rated as having a ‘moderate’ wind resource in keeping with its inland location and relatively flat landscape. Covering over 1100 hectares, less than one per cent of the site would actually be occupied by wind farm infrastructure with the wind turbines spaced between 545 and 611 metres apart. In order to go ahead with the wind farm, access tracks from 3.5 to five metres wide would have to be constructed and some public roads may need to be widened to allow for over dimensional vehicles. A switchyard facility will be installed for the transformation, switching and metering of the electricity flow in and out of the wind farm. Two permanent meteorological monitoring masts will be installed with a maximum height of 103 metres and a 66kV overhead pole-mounted power line installed to connect from the Switchyard to the existing power line. Neighbouring issues Issues raised over other wind farm developments in the region have included blade glint and shadow flicker on neighbouring land, have been looked at. Blade glint, which occurs when the sun hits the surface of the turbine blades, would be overcome by adopting a surface treatment that would eliminate it. The issue of shadow flicker from the turbines, which could be up to 150 metres high, would be overcome by ensuring all neighbouring houses would be 1.25 km or greater from the turbines, which exceeded the accepted shadow flicker distance of one kilometre.

By Lee Jones

spec.com.au

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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