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Delburn windfarms scaled down

Plans for a windfarm to be built on the outskirts of the Latrobe Valley have been scaled down with the company citing community feedback as part of the reason for the change.

Fifty-three turbines were originally slated for the Delburn Wind Farm, but OSMI Australia this week announced it now proposed to construct 35 turbines.

In a newsletter, OSMI said the scale-down was “in response to a number of factors such as additional technical inputs and community feedback on the initial concept design”.

The turbines would be located in HVP Plantations land bordered by Hernes Oak, Darlimurla, Narracan and Thorpdale to the west and Yinnar and Boolarra to the east.

The Strzelecki Community Alliance, recently formed to object to the proposal, had voiced concerns about the proximity of turbines to properties and potential issues around noise, vibrations, flicker and visual pollution.

A comparison map shows some of the turbines removed from the original plan are towards the outskirts of the project area, including towards Yinnar and Boolarra.

OSMI has previously said it engaged an independent acoustic specialist to conduct noise-modelling for the project, which would be peer-reviewed by an Environment Protection Authority-accredited noise auditor and it had engaged independent landscape and visual consultants to assess the visual impacts.

Strzelecki Community Alliance committee member Jon Wood said yesterday the group needed to consult with local households following changes to the proposal to gauge their views.

He said 145 households of about 180 houses within two kilometres of the initial windfarm area opposed the original plans.

Mr Wood said he could not speak on behalf of the group ahead of consultation, but in his personal view “just because you put up a really bad plan and turn it into a bad plan it doesn’t make it acceptable”.

He cited an Office of the National Wind Farm Commissioner annual report for 2018 which recommended governments consider reviewing the primary standards for noise limits and setback distances including the introduction of a two-kilometre setback from residences for turbines with a tip height of 200 metres or greater.

The current Victorian setback guidelines are for one kilometre between a turbine and a residence.

The Delburn Wind Farm would have turbines with a total tip height of 250 metres.

The Strzelecki Community Alliance will hold meetings for concerned residents on July 22 at the Boolarra multipurpose centre from 7pm and on July 24 at the Narracan Memorial Hall from 7pm.

OSMI will host community open days to showcase the design updates including on Thursday, August 1 from 1pm-8pm at Yinnar Memorial Hall, Friday, August 2 from 1pm-8pm at Boolarra Multipurpose Building and Saturday, August 3 from 9am-1pm at Narracan Memorial Hall.

Members of the community can drop in at any time during the sessions. RSVP to ruthharper@osmi.com.au.