Mortlake landowners are claiming a breakthrough in their fight to see data collected around the town’s proposed wind farm site.
Five landowners near Acciona’s (the world’s largest renewable energy operator) proposed 51-turbine Mortlake South wind farm won’t allow noise testing on their farms until Acciona agrees to release raw wind speed data so it can be correlated with background noise test results.
Acciona recently refused to supply raw wind speed and noise data to the Mortlake landowners and rejected their accusation it avoided comparison between previous wind speed and residents’ noise testing by claiming its meteorological tower, or met mast, had broken down.
Wind farm companies use met masts to record wind speed and other data to compare with background sound and meet planning-permit conditions.
Acciona engineering, construction and operations director Brett Wickham said it had tabled documents proving that the met mast had failed.
Acciona’s raw wind data was commercial information and would not be “shared around”, he said.
But Mortlake South Action Group head Shelley McDonald said at a recent community engagement meeting that Acciona senior project development manager Ian Lawrie agreed to release raw wind speed data if the Department of Planning requested it.
“We are asking for one month’s wind speed and background noise data collected after the met mast broke down,” she said.
“We want to know that their predictions for the wind farm’s noise levels are compliant.”
Moyne Shire councillor Jim Doukas said Acciona’s met mast breakdown was a “scam” and a motion would be put to the council that it ask the Department of Planning to request the raw data.
“The Government should demand Acciona supply the raw data to prove they are meeting permit conditions,” he said.
An Acciona spokesman said the company would co-operate with any Department of Planning request to provide wind data.
All noise monitoring and assessments required by the planning permit for the wind farm has been completed, he said.
Planning Minister Matthew Guy said in May this year he would order noisy wind farm turbines to be turned off, regardless of the cost to the operators.
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