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Wind companies fear impact of noise law changes  

Credit:  By SEAN McCOMISH | June 15, 2013 | www.standard.net.au ~~

Companies claim a Coalition government will undermine the development of wind farms across the south-west if it introduces stricter controls on noise levels.

Revelations this week that an Abbott-led government would force companies to release noise levels online have again raised questions for the renewable energy industry.

Acciona, which plans to build up to 51 turbines at its Mortlake south wind farm, said the policy had the potential to “stifle” the renewable energy industry.

“A real time noise monitoring regime for wind farms would simply erode confidence, detract from investment and reduce employment opportunities in rural economies like western Victoria,” Acciona senior manager Lisa Francis said.

“We are not aware of any country in the world that imposes real time noise monitoring on wind farms and we are not at all convinced that it is technically feasible.”

A spokeswoman for AGL, which operates the southern hemisphere’s largest wind farm in Macarthur, said the company “is aware of the Coalition’s concerns about the possible effects”. “All of AGL’s wind farm projects are fully compliant with their permits including in relation to noise levels,” the spokeswoman said.

‘‘All noise monitoring data is published online.’’

Wannon MP Dan Tehan said wind developers shouldn’t be afraid of the policy if they had nothing to hide.

“No one should be afraid of adhering to the law,” Mr Tehan said.

“What we need to see is more detail around the policy.”

He reiterated calls for a definitive study into the health effects of wind turbines.

Mr Tehan had been invited to a protest against “wind industry fraud” outside Parliament on Tuesday.

However, he has declined because of a party room meeting being held at the same time.

A number of Liberal senators will be attending the rally.

The rally has been organised by the people behind the Stop These Things website, which frequently references south-west wind farms, labelling their supporters as “greentards.”

Source:  By SEAN McCOMISH | June 15, 2013 | 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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