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Wind farm discussions

Most of the wind farms planned for Central Victoria fall outside the limits of the Ballarat City Council.

But the explosion in turbine numbers planned for the area could have an affect on the municipality.

To look at the benefits and implications for Ballarat, city councillors will consider wind farms at a regular meeting to be held tomorrow night.

A report to go before the council looks at the number of wind farms planned for within and outside the council’s boundaries and the planning considerations that should be taken into account.

The economic and environmental impacts and benefits are also discussed.

In the report, author and council’s general manager of city sustainability Ian Rossiter said Central Victoria was a desirable region for wind farms, which needed strong and steady winds, good roads and access to the electricity grid.

Several major wind farms have been mooted for the region, including at Waubra, Lal Lal and Mt Mercer.

Most fall in the Pyrenees Shire, Golden Plains Shire and Moorabool Shire, although about one third of the Waubra wind farm’s 128 turbines would be located within the Ballarat City Council area.

In the report, Mr Rossiter said although most turbines would be built outside Ballarat, there were still considerations for the city, including the impact on roads during construction, landscape impacts from within the Ballarat council and the potential economic impact on the city and its reputation as a sustainable community.

“Ballarat and its surrounding region is well positioned to become a leader in acceptance of renewable energy, water conservation and protection of its natural environment,” the report said.

The Courier

26 November 2007