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Developer Global Power Generation lodges plan to reduce turbines at Ryan Corner wind farm near Port Fairy  

Credit:  Jackson Graham | The Standard | February 25 2021 | www.standard.net.au ~~

A wind farm near Port Fairy could have fewer turbines as its proponent seeks to scale down plans for the long proposed project.

State planners will seek community feedback on amendments to the Ryan Corner Wind Farm that could reduce the site's turbines from 56 to 52.

Developer Global Power Generation hopes to remove three turbines located towards the middle of the wind farm and one at the south-west corner.

The company also wants to move one turbine and use a different model of turbine for the project.

GPG engineering manager Guillermo Alonso Castro said reducing the number of turbines would make the wind farm more efficient.

"If you remove one that is downwind from another that is fairly close you improve the efficiency of the whole wind farm," Mr Castro said.

"With the original layout with the 56 turbines we were always compliant with the noise limits and the shadow flicker on both host landholder and neighbouring properties."

He said the changes would also reduce the amount of energy the wind farm produced to align with the power bought by third party Snowy Hydro.

Snowy Hydro's purchase of 70 per cent of the output has led to the project progressing, years after first receiving a planning permit in 2008.

Mr Castro said the latest changes would not involve additional impact on communities.

A Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning spokeswoman said the department and Victoria's Planning Minister Richard Wynne would consider the change "on its merits and in line with the relevant legislation".

"There will be an opportunity for the community to have their say during the decision making process," she said.

The wind farm, located 15 kilometres north-east of Port Fairy, came under fire last week after a contract to supply the project's towers went to an overseas contractor instead of Portland manufacturer Keppel Prince.

Keppel Prince fears the move has put about 150 staff at risk of being out of work with no further signed contracts lined up.

Keppel Prince fears the move has put about 150 of its jobs at risk. GPG used Keppel Prince wind towers at its Berrybank project, but that was part of the Victorian government's renewable energy auction scheme requiring local content thresholds to be met.

It's understood the decision to use overseas manufacturers at Ryan Corner was price-driven and made by the turbine supplier Vestas.

GPG also wants to scale down plans for the Hawkesdale Wind Farm, removing three turbines.

Moyne Shire Council has pushed for the turbines set for removal to be closest to the Hawkesdale township to reduce the potential affect on the town's amenity.

But GPG has lodged a planning amendment to remove turbines furthest away from the town and Mr Castro said it was unlikely any further changes would occur.

"We have looked at that and tried to explain to relevant parties the reason for our choice. We understand the sentiment of the community," Mr Castro said.

"It is a very tricky situation and something we can't consider at this point of time. If it was three or four years ago probably."

Source:  Jackson Graham | The Standard | February 25 2021 | 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.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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