Australian news, and some related international items

Huge wind farms to go ahead in South Australia and Western Australia

Go-ahead given for huge wind farm   5 July 12,    FINAL State Government approval has been given for the construction of a $900 million, 105-turbine wind farm in the state’s mid-north.

The 315 megawatt Hornsdale wind farm, to  be built 15km from Jamestown, would  be the state’s largest, with the capacity togenerate 1,050,000 megawatt hours of electricity a year. The Development Assessment Commission gave provisional approval to the development in May, with Planning Minister John Rau yesterday giving developer Investec Bank Australia the green light to begin the development. Energy Minister Tom  Koutsantonis said the project would create up to 250 construction jobs locally.

Mega wind farm for Mid West Daniel Mercer, The West Australian July 6, 2012,  State-owned power generator Verve is planning to significantly increase WA’s share of renewable energy supplies by spending $600 million to build the State’s biggest wind farm. Continue reading

July 6, 2012 Posted by | South Australia, wind | , | Leave a comment

New wind farm near Barossa Valley would power 68,000 homes

Wind farm mooted near Barossa  June 29, 2012  Pacific Hydro has submitted an application to the Development Assessment Commission for a 42-turbine wind farm on the edge of the Barossa Valley.

The Keyneton wind farm would be north-west of Cambrai, with turbines running along about 15 kilometres of the eastern Mount Lofty Ranges. The company initially proposed 57 turbines for the area but reduced the number in response to community concerns about the visual amenity and potential noise. The nearest house to the wind farm would be about 1.7 kilometres away, with most homes between three and five kilometres from the project.

The wind farm would power about 68,000 homes a year. Pacific Hydro already runs the Clements Gap wind farm, south of Port Pirie, and is proposing another near Georgetown in the mid-north.

June 30, 2012 Posted by | South Australia, wind | , | Leave a comment

Despite Victorian Government’s opposition, the wind energy industry hopes for a new wind farm

Wind farm hopes remain  June 26, 2012   A central Victorian renewable energy group says it will hold on for as long as it can, after its government contract runs out at the end of the month.

The Woodend Integrated Sustainable Energy Group has been pushing for a community-owned wind farm to be established in the Macedon Ranges. It erected a 60-metre high wind mast last year with a $50,000 State Government grant. The group’s president, Barry Mann, says the mast can remain in place until November 2014.

“We want to get to that point where we can reinvest money generated from clean energy, our best resource which is our wind, and put it back into other things like revegetation, Landcare type stuff, solar panels on sporting clubs and have a sustainability project,” he said.

June 27, 2012 Posted by | Victoria, wind | | Leave a comment

Wind farms – $billions of value to the Australian economy

A study commissioned by the Clean Energy Council has shown found that wind farms alone could inject $17 billion into the Australian economy. This estimate relies on proposed future developments going ahead, but already $4.25 billion has been added to the economy due to the impact of wind power alone.

Wind Farms Offer $17 Billion Economic Boost, Design Build, By Tim Moore, 19 June 12 Renewable energy infrastructure in Australia is beginning to develop strong foundations. With the implementation of wind farms, solar farms and other large-scale green infrastructure projects taking root nationwide, it is possible to now monitor and understand the effects they are having on a multitude of levels. Continue reading

June 20, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, wind | | Leave a comment

Australia’s energy generation – community-owned renewable projects are the way forward.

The Hepburn Community Wind Farm consists of two turbines built by the community, after locals decided nearly seven years ago to take responsibility for their own energy needs.

Citizen-owned energy is way of the future.  Power Engineering, 17 June 12,  AUSTRALIA’S carbon tax is just two weeks away. The cost of electricity is set to rise from July 1, with a national renewable energy target of 20 per cent by 2020.
Large-scale wind farms are increasing, solar energy is booming and hydro schemes are being adopted across the country.

But the real future of energy generation is in community- owned renewable energy projects, according to one of the men involved in setting up Australia’s first citizen-owned wind farm. Now he has his sights set on Tasmania. Continue reading

June 18, 2012 Posted by | Tasmania, Victoria, wind | | Leave a comment

Farming the winds can pump $17 billion into Australia’s economy

“Wind farming can help farmers generate significant extra funds for local suppliers, contactors, shopkeepers, community facilities and more,”.. can help farmers earn vital extra income, make better use of farming land and insure against downturns in key commodities.”

the construction of the “typical wind farm” of around 25 to 30 turbines can produce 48 direct building jobs and provide indirect employment of around 160 people locally, 504 state-wide and 795 nationwide.

Wind farms to create $17b – study, AAP June 15, 2012  WIND farms could pump more than $17 billion into
Australia’s economy if proposed projects were to go ahead, a new report says. Continue reading

June 16, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, wind | | Leave a comment

Wind energy company calls for inquiry into wind energy and health

Pacific Hydro supports calls for wind farm health probe June 14, 2012  A wind energy company, Pacific Hydro, has backed calls for a study into the health effects of wind farms and power generation. The company’s general manager, Lane Crockett, backed the suggestion during a meeting on wind farms in Portland on Tuesday.

A Senate inquiry last year recommended the Government should fund a health assessment. Mr Crockett says the Government should launch a broad-ranging inquiry into the claimed health problems caused by power generation.
“If you really want to have a broad conversation about what forms of power generation are appropriate to power Australia, then you should do a health review of all forms of power generation,” he said.

June 14, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, wind | | Leave a comment

Wind farms supported by majority of people in South Australia, Victoria and NSW

 those who opposed wind power were “out of step with community thinking”.

Two-thirds (67 per cent) of people believed a farmer’s right to generate income from their land was more important than a resident’s right to a view clear of wind turbines.

People worrying themselves sick’ over windfarms Political Reporter Lauren Novak June 07, 2012 MORE than 80 per cent of people believe health concerns about wind farms will “turn out to be nothing to worry about”, a survey commissioned by the Clean Energy Council says. Continue reading

June 8, 2012 Posted by | New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, wind | , | Leave a comment

New South Wales government policies stifle wind energy development, promote coal and gas

Concern over State Government’s wind farm guidelines, ABC News June 06, 2012 The State Opposition says the O’Farrell Government’s planning guidelines for wind farms is putting potential investment in the Hunter at risk. The guidelines include a two-kilometre exclusion zone between homes and wind turbines.

Energy spokesman Luke Foley says planning charges are set to prohibit investment in the industry. He says developers could be paying more than $1 million in planning fees compared to $15,000 in Victoria.
Mr Foley says the planning guidelines for wind energy are much stronger than for the coal and gas industry.

“If a single landholder, one landholder out of hundreds objects to a wind farm proposal the proposal then has to go through all sorts of hoops, that doesn’t apply to coal seam gas or coal or our extractive industries,” he said.

Newcastle based, wind energy consultant Richard Finlay-Jones says the planning guidelines could put local projects at risk….

June 7, 2012 Posted by | New South Wales, wind | | Leave a comment

Wind farm development stalled in Bailleiu’s Victoria

the delay in construction and state government rules giving households right-of-veto over turbines planned within two kilometres of their homes could stop the country meeting the 20 per cent target…..

Country’s largest wind turbine maker sacks 24 workers, The Age, Adam Morton, June 7, 2012  AS AUSTRALIA prepares to launch into what is billed as a clean energy future, its largest wind turbine manufacturer has sacked 24 staff because of a lack of business…

… The market for renewable energy certificates created through clean projects has been flooded with credits from rooftop solar panels.
It has suppressed the certificate price, stymieing the development of
the cheapest large-scale clean energy – wind farms.
Parliament tackled the problem in 2010 by dividing the market into
large and small-scale renewable energy schemes, but the certificate
price is yet to fully recover. Continue reading

June 7, 2012 Posted by | Victoria, wind | | Leave a comment

South Australia’s wind power figures vindicate radical energy plan, May 31, 2012 Beyond Zero Emissions released the statement below on May 31. Yesterday energy consultants EnergyQuest broke the news that wind power supplied 31% of South Australia’s electricity in the last quarter. Continue reading

June 2, 2012 Posted by | South Australia, wind | , | Leave a comment

South Australia’s baseload power from wind energy

Wind Power ‘The New Baseload’ In South Australia main_page=news_article&article_id=3231 by Energy Matters, 31 May 12 Achieving 20% renewable energy in Australia by 2020 isn’t impossible – in fact, South Australia has already blown past goal that courtesy of wind energy primarily, with a helping hand from residential solar panel installations. Continue reading

June 2, 2012 Posted by | South Australia, wind | , | Leave a comment

Member for Northern Victoria Donna Petrovich called to account on her claims against wind power

there is an onus on Ms Petrovich to come clean on her research if she is to stand by her claim that communities right across the Macedon and McHarg Ranges and big chunks of Central Victoria are “not appreciative” of this form of green and sustainable energy.

Yes to renewables did the ‘No Go’ zones come from?  May 7, 2012 by Cam Walker The following is a letter from last weeks Macedon Ranges Weekly
Where did the ‘No Go’ zones come from? Last year, the state government created a series of ‘No Go’ zones, which block wind energy developments across much of Victoria, including the Macedon – McHarg Ranges. The government seems to think these ranges extend almost as far north as Bendigo.

Member for Northern Victoria Donna Petrovich has said in state parliament that the No Go zones were “carefully” selected where communities “on the whole have told us that they are not appreciative of wind farms”.

Given the controversial nature of the No Go zones, and the widespread support for the Macedon and Castlemaine community wind proposals, it would be useful to understand how Ms Petrovich consulted the community
to reach her conclusion that wind power is unpopular. Continue reading

May 7, 2012 Posted by | politics, Victoria, wind | | Leave a comment

Mass media and State govt policies damaging Australia’s wind farm industry

Economics taking the wind out of farm’s sails, Canberra Times,  Graham Downie.May 7, 2012  “……. Infigen Energy, the largest wind farm owner in Australia, owns Capital Wind Farm, between Bungendore and Tarago, east of Canberra, which has 67 turbines.

The company has approval to almost double this. Only the present economics prevent the extension going ahead.

Mr Upson said about 20 new wind farms had been approved in Victoria and about six in NSW. These projects had been delayed by the ”small-scale screw up”. That had now been fixed by separating the small-scale and large-scale schemes but the glut of certificates remained.

Mr Upson said some elements of the media spread a lot of misinformation about wind energy. Certainly, turbines killed a small number of birds, but this was infinitesimal compared to the number of birds killed by power lines, motor vehicles, cats and pesticides.

He also dismissed concerns that wind farms caused illness. ”There is no independent, regulatory, scientific or medical body in the world that thinks wind turbines make people sick.”

With wind energy worldwide doubling every three years, there would be an epidemic of biblical proportions if wind turbines made people sick. ”There are wind turbines everywhere in Europe and no one is getting sick.”

Mr Upson said the wind industry worldwide had grown by more than 25 per cent each year for the past 15 years. ”I challenge you to think of another industry that has had this sustained and long-term growth.”

Wind produced less than 2 per cent of the total electricity demand in NSW and the ACT, but in South Australia, with a greater wind resource and less demand for electricity, wind produced about 25 per cent of that state’s total demand. At times, it reached about 70 per cent.

Though generation from wind turbines was variable, the Australian Energy Market Operator could now forecast wind energy throughout the grid with 98 per cent accuracy an hour ahead. This meant other generators were turned on or off as required.

Wind farms were expensive to build but were very cheap to run. So they could under bid coal and gas generators given suitable wind.

Infigen had plans to develop solar generation and would be pleased to be selected in the Solar Flagships program, he said. ”In which case we would build three large-scale solar facilities.” One would be at the Capital Wind Farm, one at Nyngan and one at Manildra. At present, generating electricity from even large-scale solar plants was about twice as expensive as from wind.

”May be by the middle of the decade it might be more competitive … to build a large-scale solar facility we need some sort of grant or subsidy.” 20120506-1y7bt.html#ixzz1uDQDJkG

May 7, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster, wind | | Leave a comment

Tasmanian wind farm providing jobs, while conventional farming continues, too

Premier Lara Giddings, who yesterday visited the site, said 200 jobs over 18 months was a welcome boost for an area hit hard by the forestry downturn.

Wind farm has plenty of puff   BRUCE MOUNSTER   |   May 04, 2012 YOU just have to look at the trees.. Then, says Hydro Tasmania chief executive Roy Adair, it’s easy to see why the Cape Portland property on Tasmania’s far north-east tip, is considered one of the best wind farm sites in Australia. “The configuration of the trees and the way that they are heavily leaning to one side,” he said.

The 550ha beef, dairy and former woolgrowing property is home to the 56 turbine Musselroe wind farm, now under construction after an eight year gestation. Continue reading

May 4, 2012 Posted by | Tasmania, wind | | Leave a comment