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Company ‘tricky’ over turbines  

Credit:  By David Butler, Goulburn Post, www.goulburnpost.com.au 31 December 2010 ~~

Collector residents have accused wind farm proponent Transfield Services of misleading the public about the visual impact of its proposed new wind farm.

Resident Rodd Pahl said the 150 metre-tall turbines would dominate the picturesque country landscape surrounding his town, and said Transfield was misleading residents.

“It’s poor form from Transfield in terms of working with the community in an open and trusting way,” he said.

“The issue that wind farm companies always overlook is the sheer scale of these things. They’re over 150 metres tall, and you can see them easily from 15 kilometres away.”

The accusation stems from a photo estimate of the turbines on Collector’s skyline provided to residents at an ‘open house’ information session run by Transfield Services back in October.

The estimate, which shows minimal visual impact to the skyline, was questioned by some residents, prompting them to contract an independent surveyor to model the turbines’ visual presence.

Stanley Tan, a surveyor at Whelan InSites, said the difference between his modelling and Transfield’s was marked.

“On the face of it, I’d say yes, the turbines were more noticeable than in the images provided by Transfield,” he said.

“The original shot in question was taken from the town of Collector, and it was taken facing through some trees, which we thought was a bit disingenuous. We went to a position with a clearer line of view about 20 metres to the north.”

But Transfield Services’ project manager, Nick Valentine, said the initial photo estimate was about to be superseded by more detailed modelling.

“We’re conducting a more complete photo montage of the wind farm area from 12 different viewpoints, which will supersede the current assessment,” he said.

Mr Valentine expected the new visual assessment to be completed and shown to residents in January. Whelan InSites is also producing more detailed, 3D modelling of the wind farm, commissioned by Collector resident Tony Hodgson.

Above left: The initial visual estimate of the turbines provided to Collector residents by Transfield Services.

Above right: Independent surveyor Whelan InSites provided this estimate from a clearer vantage point, 20 metres north of where the original shot was taken.

[photographs available at source]

Source:  By David Butler, Goulburn Post, www.goulburnpost.com.au 31 December 2010

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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