THE statement that a proposed wind farm on Yorke Peninsula will power 225,000 homes (The Advertiser, 18/1/13) is misleading – because it omits an important qualification.
If the wind farm were the only source of electricity supply for those homes, they would spend a lot of time freezing in the dark.
BRUCE M. DINHAM, Hawthorn
Road safety issue
YORKE Peninsula will soon have a new road safety hazard if the Ceres windfarm project goes ahead in its present form.
The St Vincent Highway between Port Julia and Port Vincent will be host to a dozen turbines just 250 metres from the road. 50 more turbines will be at the road edge for 30 km of other public roads in the 180 square kilometre windfarm.
Road users will have good reason to feel at risk because each turbine span is more than half as big again as a Boeing 747.
The shadows of these massive turbine blades will sweep across the St Vincent Highway at 300 km/h for about four hours every day, and will be accompanied by the sudden whoosh as the blades sweep past.
These effects will be worse on the minor roads because many of the turbines are right at the road edge.
The hazard is multiplied because there are 60 turbines adjacent to public roads.
The developers are required by the Windfarm Development Amendment of October 2012 to avoid or minimise any adverse effects of shadow flicker, glint etc on homes, and on road users.
Ceres uses a policy of “prudent avoidance” to meet this requirement for homes by having a setback distance of 1.3km. It’s a pity they don’t apply their own policy to road users.
Their decision could prove fatal.
MAX LEES, Gilberton
Unfair to neighbours
THE Ceres wind farm denies justice by locating turbines on the boundary of non-participating farms.
The 1.3km setback for turbines is from the nearest dwelling, not the farm boundary.
Non-host farmers will no longer be able to build a new dwelling within 1.3km of their own boundary.
This is a critical issue for these farmers and their families.
The turbines will have a life of 25 years with an option to replace for another 25 years. Non-host farmers and their children will be denied the right to build a new home within their own boundaries for 50 years.
There is no natural justice in this.
At least two farmers hosting turbines have already built new homes on their land within the past 10 years to accommodate new generations settling on the farm.
If the Ceres project goes ahead, this same right will be taken away from non-host farmers and their children.
With four children, the fourth generation on our farm, we plan to grow our farming business. Providing for our children may mean we need to provide homes for them.
The Ceres project overlooks neighbouring farms and this will impact on the local businesses that underpin the district.
SARAH KLOPP, Maitland
WOULD not the location of the proposed Ceres wind farm be better suited to the barren floodplain reserved for the unlikely, if not hazardous, development of Buckland Park which is just up the track from the Adelaide power grid link at Parafield Gardens West?
An expensive undersea cable across the Gulf would not be necessary and environmental risks would therefore be minimised. Good farming land would be preserved as would the integrity of any proposed marine park(s).
NEIL LONGBOTTOM, Minlaton
Impact on technology
AGRICULTURE is the biggest contributor to South Australia’s economy – bringing in much more than mining or any other industry.
Filling up prime agricultural areas with industrial wind turbines is hardly likely to improve productivity or encourage farmers to keep farming, given that enterprises which depend on minimising spraydrift, GPS precision guidance systems and yield mapping, mobile phone coverage, aerial spraying and being able to get a good night’s sleep will all be compromised.
And then there is all the technology not invented yet which will be ruled out by electro magnetic interference.
Ask Waterloo farmers how great it is, when your farming enterprise depends on mobile phone coverage, when your phone, digital TV reception, internet connectivity etc drops in and out when the turbine blade passes the tower each rotation – a physical impossibility to fix after two years of operation of 37 smaller turbines. What will it be like with 199 larger turbines?
D. MORRIS, Eudunda
Consumers pay again
THE State Government boasts that we have more wind farms. More green energy. In fact, at night when the wind is blowing, our wind farms will be able to generate more power than South Australia can use.
That pushes down the price the electricity generators get.
It can even push it into the negative, where generators have to pay the network to get rid of excess power for them.
To ensure they can sell all the power they can generate, and get a better price for it, SA power users will be paying for an upgrade to the interconnector to the Victorian electricity grid.
And it won’t just be the $40 million upgrade that would in most circumstances ensure there’s enough interconnector capacity to sell all the wind farms’ power.
No, it’ll be the gold-plated $107 million one that provides for even the most unusual circumstances. The power companies will pay to build it, but the national energy market regulator has allowed them an increase in the price they can charge us consumers to guarantee them a return on that investment, which will only be used to its design capacity a few hours each year.
The investors will be paying for the wind farms, but rather than them having to pay for the network upgrades to ensure that they still get the best price for the power they generate – even when they’re generating more than SA needs – we’ll be paying for it.
GORDON DRENNAN, Burton
Taken for a ride
THE suggested free ride on the power generated by industrial wind turbines in the editorial, “A blast of fresh air for the economy” (The Advertiser, 8/1/13) reminds me of the free ride the Government is getting from our community.
It is not real.
We are all being taken for a ride.
Public interest and morality of service are not identified in any planning process in the state of South Australia. The editorial suggested we should simply accept what the developers of the industrial wind turbine farms tell us, and forget the effects experienced by people living with them.
Without some quality assessment and auditing of the processes that have not identified health risks experienced in the community, we have no guarantee of a successful development.
Risks to the balance and auditory systems experienced by those living with existing turbines are being ignored.
We need ENT and audiology specialists to explain to planners what is going on.
The inaudible low-frequency noise generated by the industrial turbines is an impossible side effect, destroying wellbeing and vitality. This is needed to drive everyone’s future. The blast of fresh air for the Yorke Peninsula will potentially also be a source of economic destruction to the state’s economy as our overloaded health system cannot cope with further service and economic burden.
Heart disease and hearing loss in our community alone costs tens of billions of dollars annually.
GARY GOLAND, Public Officer, Noise Watch Australia, Oaklands Park
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