More than 40 per cent of the wind farms either already operating or in the pipeline for Victoria are in the south-west.
National Wind Farm Commissioner Andrew Dyer said that in Victoria, 760 of the 1812 turbines operating, being built, approved but not yet built, or being assessed, are in the south-west. This equates to nearly 42 per cent of all Victorian wind farms projects.
Mr Dyer told The Standard the south-west was a “hot spot” for wind farms because it had a lot of electricity grid structure that wind farms could connect to.
He called on government to better manage the establishment of wind farms “so you do not have nine wind farms on top of people”.
He said among the measures that should be explored were for government to selectively approve planning permits for wind farms, such as limiting them to one in a particular area so it was not “crowded” with them.
Another step that could be investigated was for government to build more electricity transmission infrastructure throughout Victoria to allow wind farms to be established over a wider area, he added.
The current electricity grid was designed to distribute power from the Latrobe Valley’s brown coal reserves and had high transmission lines running from from east to west across the state, Mr Dyer said.
If more energy was to come from wind and solar in the future, energy sources might be located in northern Victoria, western NSW or SA and new transmission lines were needed to source that energy, he said.
While Mr Dyer said the south-west had the highest concentration of built and “in the pipeline” wind farms in Victoria, he said some of those planned and proposed might not eventuate.
He said only one in four of the farms in the pipeline might eventuate because of the many hurdles they faced, such as getting a supply contract under the Victorian Government’s Renewable Energy Target program.
Mr Dyer was appointed by the federal government in 2015 to promote best practices for the wind energy industry and government as well as deal with complaints about wind farms.
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