RES Australia Pty Ltd has announced its intention to move forward with preparing a Planning Permit application for a wind farm in the Pyrenees region, between to Stawell and Ararat.
Residents of the area will soon get the chance to learn more about plans to build a wind farm on the ridges of farmland adjacent the Pyrenees Highway.
RES Australia has commenced detailed site investigations into a wind farm of around 50 turbines and associated wind farm infrastructure. If the project goes ahead, it will unlock a $250 million investment within Ararat Rural City Council and Northern Grampians Shire Council areas. The project will produce clean green electricity, without pollution, for about 40,000 homes and will contribute to Victorias renewable energy target.
“RES Australia has assessed many potential sites in Victoria and after extensive feasibility studies, we identified that the Ararat ridges are likely to be a suitable location for a windfarm,” Sedat Erol, wind farm developer with RES Australia and responsible for preparing the permit application said.
“In addition our research indicates that there is broad support amongst the local community for a windfarm in the area. RES Australia commissioned a study of community perceptions and we found that more than 90 per cent of people are in favour of windfarms being developed in the region and more than 80 per cent of people would be in favour of a windfarm within 10 kilometres of their home.
“We will conduct a rigorous environmental assessment to ensure this is a world class project from all points of view. When the environmental assessment is complete, it will go on public exhibition and anyone who is interested will have an opportunity to comment.
“As our plans progress, we will keep the community up to date with newsletters, open days and our website. Details of our first open day will be made public in the new year.
RES Australia commissioned Environmental Resources Management Pty Ltd and Reark Pty Ltd to prepare the Report on Community Perceptions towards Wind Farms in the Ararat region, Victoria in October, 2007. The report found amongst other things that:
94 per cent of respondents are in favour of wind farm projects being developed in southwestern Victoria.
82 per cent of respondents are in favour of a wind farm within 10 kilometres from their home.
71 per cent of respondents are in favour of a wind farm within one kilometre of their home.
Mr Erol also expressed the company’s commitment to maximising the local economic benefit to the Ararat and the Northern Grampians regions.
Glen Davis, chief executive officer of Northern Grampians Shire Council said the council is supportive of low-emission power generation.
“With two national parks and large areas of crops, pasture, shrubs and forests, Northern Grampians is proud of its ecological contribution in burying carbon, creating carbon credits,” he said.
“The Federal Government has emphasised Australia’s need to reduce greenhouse gas emission. The substitution of wind power for coal-fired power generation (a source of much of Australia’s carbon debits) is a major opportunity. The proposed carbon trading regime will be a market in which both low emissions and carbon credits will be economically rewarded. And the Victorian Government seeks to use wind power for water desalination plants.
“Northern Grampians Shire supports these government initiatives. We also welcome investments that will create new jobs and enhance local employment opportunities.
“The shire looks forward to receiving and reviewing the planning application from RES for a wind farm in the Shire.”
RES Australia is an independent wind farm operator in the local market. It is a subsidiary of the Renewable Energy Systems group of companies based in the United Kingdom.
18 December 2007
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