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Firm still considering McHarg Ranges wind farm  

A company is still assessing whether to move ahead with a proposed wind farm in the McHarg Ranges, south-east of Bendigo.

Stanwell Corporation wants to build a 125-turbine wind farm and has been monitoring wind speeds and consistency in the Baynton-Tooborac area for the past three years.

It says early evaluations of the renewable energy market and potential impacts of the development will continue for another six months before it decides whether to proceed with a feasibility study.

Stanwell says if it moves to the next stage, there will be extensive community consultation.

Opponents fear a wind farm would adversely impact on salinity, wildlife and the rural amenity of the area and increase the already high fire risk in the ranges.

The McHarg Ranges Landscape Guardians group says solar panels would be a more suitable renewable energy source for the area.

President John Howard says wind farms do not fit with the sensitivities of the ranges.

“North of the Great Divide we should have a solar tower,” he said.

“Wind farms are fine in the appropriate areas where it’s flat country if they do malfunction the fire trucks can get all the way around, here, if from 400 feet up the trajectory from the top of the turbine right across some of the inaccessible valleys here, there’s no way we could catch up with it.”

abc.net.au

16 February 2007

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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