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Massive Penshurst wind farm dropped

A plan to build a massive 223 turbine wind farm near Penshurst has been abandoned.

The project proponent, RES Australia, said it had decided not to proceed with the project “following a comprehensive review of the proposed site”.

“Since 2008, RES has a invested significant amount of effort, time and money in the Penshurst project and supported various local community events and groups over a number of years,” a RES spokesperson said.

“After a detailed review of the site, we no longer consider this project to be an ongoing development opportunity and we intend to focus on other sites in our expanding portfolio.

“We have had very many supporters in the Penshurst area and a loyal group of landowners.

We would like to wholeheartedly thank these members of the local community for supporting us.”

The company declined to comment further.

RES Australia’s proposal for a Penshurst wind farm aroused strong opposition from the Southern Grampians Landscape Guardians that in 2015 warned of legal action against any landholders who agreed to have RES’ turbines on their land.

Southern Grampians Landscape Guardians president Keith Staff said the group’s legal advisors had sent a letter to farmers and other landholders in the Penshurst area warning them that if wind turbines were built on their land, neighbouring landholders might sue them for any nuisance they caused, such as noise.

“Every resident has a legal right to live in peace and quiet in their own home,” Mr Staff said.

He believed no more than 10 property holders had signed agreements in 2015 with RES Australia to have some of the 223 turbines on their properties.

The Southern Grampians Landscape Guardians had also claimed the wind farm would damage volcanic landscape features identified in the South West Landscape Assessment Study.

Under the proposal, turbines were to be built across 10,700 hectares of farmland three kilometres south-west of Penshurst.

RES had said that once operational, the farm would employ 40 full-time workers while supporting 115 indirect jobs over its 25-year life span.

The 30-month construction job was also expected to lead to 490 direct jobs and 785 indirect jobs.

RES Australa is part of an international renewable energy company and has developed a 75 turbine wind farm near Ararat.

It is also developing the 116-turbine Murra Warra wind farm in north west Victoria.