The Wheatbelt town of Kojonup is set to become the latest flashpoint in the debate over wind farms amid plans to build WA’s second biggest wind energy project nearby.
A group of local business people, through the company Moonies Hill Energy, wants permission to construct 74 wind turbines at a site called Flat Rocks, 30km south-east of Kojonup. The project would cost almost $500 million, have a generating capacity of 150MW – enough electricity to power 90,000 homes – and “save” about 730,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
But local residents say the wind farm pre-empts the findings of a Senate inquiry into the health impacts of wind turbines.
Kojonup farmer Roger Bilney, whose property is next to the proposed site, said he worried about the effects of infrasound, caused by turbines and linked to nausea and sleep apnoea.
He called for the assessment of the project to be deferred until after the Senate made its findings public, arguing that wind farms were being slated for the wrong locations in the “stampede” to meet Canberra’s mandatory renewable energy target.
Moonies Hill spokeswoman Sarah Rankin said that pending planning approval, construction was expected to start in 2013.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding