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Acciona given OK for Mortlake south wind farm  

Credit:  By SEAN McCOMISH | Jan. 15, 2013 | The Standard | www.standard.net.au ~~

The state government has given the green light to a massive wind farm planned for south of Mortlake, despite community concerns on noise impacts.

The 51-turbine project is expected to begin later this year, with developer Acciona to pump about $200 million into the project.

The Victorian government recently provided a development plan approval for the wind farm, which has drawn criticism from both nearby residents and the Moyne Shire.

Acciona is yet to give a timeline for when heavy machinery will begin excavating land for the turbines along the Framlingham-Mortlake and Terang-Mortlake roads.

The company has spruiked the employment benefits the project will bring to the district.

“Acciona’s proposal represents approximately $200 million in investment that will bring many benefits to the local community in the Mortlake region, including up to 100 local construction jobs and approximately 10 permanent jobs on-site,” managing director Andrew Thomson said.

But news of the government approval has been met with disappointment by several landowners opposed to the wind farm.

There has been an ongoing dispute between some residents and Acciona over raw wind data collected on the properties.

Mortlake South Action Group leader Shelley McDonald yesterday targeted the company after she received a summary of noise data collected on the farm.

Last year, Acciona reported that its net mast used to collect noise levels had broken down, at the same time as Ms McDonald conducted her own testing nearby.

Ms McDonald then blocked workers’ access to the site to change batteries in logs also used to collect noise levels.

According to Ms McDonald, this would have prevented any data from being collected.

But yesterday she received a notice from Acciona showing that levels in the area were less than 40 decibels, which is a requirement for wind farms.

“They said that they had no data,” Ms McDonald said.

Despite the lack of clarity, Ms McDonald conceded there was little the group could do now to stop the move.

“We’re just going to have to take it on the chin,” Ms McDonald said.

At full power, the wind farm will be able to supply up to 41,000 homes a year.

Source:  By SEAN McCOMISH | Jan. 15, 2013 | The Standard | www.standard.net.au

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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