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Gone with the wind  

Credit:  By Barry Kennedy, Sunbury Leader, sunbury-leader.whereilive.com.au 18 July 2011 ~~

The Sidonia Hills windfarm project seems further away than ever, with the joint venture company Roaring 40s disbanded.

Hydro Tasmania and Chinese-based CLP ended the joint project on June 30, having formed a partnership in 2005 to look into renewable energy opportunities.

Wind monitoring for a proposed 34-turbine farm outside Kyneton has been running since 2008 but uncertainty over the renewable energy industry has delayed formal planning applications for the bid.

But Hydro Tasmania will continue investigating the feasibility of wind turbines at Sidonia Hills, spokesman Pat Garnham said.

During last year’s state election campaign, the then-Opposition said windfarm developments would be banned in the Macedon Ranges.

The pledge has yet to been followed through, but the now-Coalition State Government has passed on the decisions on wind farms to local government.

Friends of the Earth renewable energy campaigner Ben Courtice said industrial-sized windfarm projects made good sense especially as Australia had the strictest noise restrictions in the world.

“If they’re proven to be situated in high-wind areas, they should be given a fair go, but there are anti-windfarm groups which oppose all proposals,” he said.

Last month the Friends of the Earth hosted a wind energy forum in Gisborne and Mr Courtice said it underlined the community’s support for a community owned wind farm in Woodend.

“Community wind farms bring in income for communities and, at two turbines next to a population centre, are easier to sit into the landscape,” he said.

Mr Courtice said Hepburn Wind was Australia’s only community wind farm of its type. There were about 2000 such farms in Denmark.

Source:  By Barry Kennedy, Sunbury Leader, sunbury-leader.whereilive.com.au 18 July 2011

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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