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Project gains support

A proposed Pyrenees Shire wind farm would produce enough electricity to meet the annual power needs of 80,000 households.

Australian renewable energy company Pacific Hydro yesterday announced that strong community and local government support had encouraged the submission of a planning application for the Crowlands wind farm.

The proposed wind farm site is approximately 25km north-east of Ararat along the ridge-top between Crowlands and Glenlofty.

The planning application seeks approval for a maximum of 75 2.3 megawatt wind generators.

At this maximum size, the wind farm would produce 430 gigawatt hours of zero emission electricity each year, enough to meet the combined annual power needs of Ballarat and Bendigo.

The proposed site consists of cleared grazing land with a low density population.

Despite being located on ridge-tops, the topography of the site means there are very few locations in and around Crowlands where it is possible to get a full view of the wind farm.

“While parts of the wind farm will be visible from Crowlands and the nearby town of Landsborough, experts tell us it won’t be visible from Elmhurst at all,” Pacific Hydro executive manager Andrew Richards said.

Pyrenees Shire Council Mayor Gabriel Horvat said the council was in “full support of the proposal”.

“No community member has shown a negative view on this project and the company (Pacific Hydro) has been very good in expressing its proposal and in actually consulting with the local community and council,” Cr Horvat said.

The planning application is on display for the next six weeks at a number of locations, including the Pyrenees Shire offices in Beaufort and Avoca.

During this time, the community is encouraged to read the application or the summary document and make a submission.

“The planning process allows for the community to have their say about the project,” Mr Richards said.

“This ensures the opportunity to address the panel and put forward your views about the proposed project.”

The Courier

21 September 2007