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Alberton Wind Farm



Project Summary


Location: Wellington Shire, Victoria

Stage: Stakeholder Consultation

Possible Size: 34 Turbines

The Alberton Wind Farm site lies on privately owned land wholly within the Wellington Shire, Victoria.

The site was identified and consultation with landowners, neighbours and Council took place before planning began.

The project is currently under development with Stakeholder input from Community, Government and Regulatory bodies being received.

Planning

A Meteorological Mast of 80m was on site for fourteen months to January 2016 to confirm the wind resource.

Project Layout

The Project provides for a maximum development footprint of:
  • 34 turbines with a maximum rotational diameter of 140 meters, tip height of 200 metres;
  • Turbine hardstands
  • Use of existing and new access tracks
  • Underground and some overhead power cabling; and
  • A temporary works compound.
The Project is expected to generate 460 gigawatt hours of clean energy per year, enough for approximately 45,000 Victorian households, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 390,000 tonnes annually.
The Project has the potential to create around 115 jobs in the construction phase and 12 ongoing roles throughout its 20-30 year operation.
Once operational, a Community Fund of $80,000 per year will be set up that will support local community groups and events."
If you have any questions or feedback please Contact us

Draft Layout

A draft layout containing 34 turbines has been designed taking into account all of the above assessments, statutory planning requirements, efficiency optimisation and input from the participating landowners.

Stakeholder Consultation

Community Consultation: Thank you to everyone who attended the public display of project information at the Yarram Hub, August 21 -25 or the drop in day which was held on Friday, 25 August. The fact sheet provided is available here.

As advised on the feedback form, the feedback provided will be submitted in summary form with the Planning Application when it is submitted. If you provided contact details, you will receive our response via post.
As a number of questions or concerns came up multiple times we have decided to publish a Q&A section below in case other people are interested in the same information."

I live in the area, why wasn't I consulted during the planning process?

The project definition phase took place during the whole of 2014. Starting from the landowners who approached Synergy Wind with an interest in hosting a wind farm, we were introduced to neighbouring landowners and residents and the project grew organically from there.
Synergy spoke and met with as many people as possible in the surrounding area, one on one either face to face or by phone.
In June 2014 a meeting was held with all known residents invited to attend. At that time Synergy introduced itself, the planning process and the possible project.
All attendees were asked to advise if there was anyone not present that they would recommend be contacted. The residents who attended the meeting were also encouraged to talk to their neighbours and provide Synergy's contact details should anyone have questions or wish to meet. After that, Synergy met with and spoke with all of the residents that we were recommended to speak to and anyone else who contacted us or came up during the course of visiting the area. As many people find it confronting to have a total stranger knock on their door, we worked on the basis of being introduced by neighbours where ever possible.
The website published the proposed project site once sufficient support and host landowners were identified. We also published information about the meteorological mast that had been installed in the area via the website.
Once sufficient results regarding the assessments were available, a draft layout was formulated and this was presented to prospective neighbours. Meetings took place in December 2015 and January 2016 to share the information available to possible neighbours of the project and invite their feedback and participation in the project. This was then incorporated into the layout of the project that was presented at the Yarram Hub.

Why here?

"As well as receiving support from the people we spoke to during the project definition phase the location was chosen as it fits with the requirements and objectives of the Wellington Planning Scheme.

The proposed location of the Alberton Wind Farm is predominantly within the Farming Zone, as defined by the Wellington Planning Scheme, and is not within five kilometres of a residential zone, a business zone or a special purpose zone. The proposed land use as a wind energy facility is in line with the objectives of the Rural Policy in that such use is compatible with its sustainable use for ongoing agricultural production.

The land use as a wind energy facility is also in line with the requirements of the State Resources Overlay which applies to the Gippsland Brown Coalfields in that it would not inhibit the eventual development and use of the coal, should that be required.

The location also has a good, steady wind resource and access to the electricity grid via the 66kv cable that runs through the project site."

I have land in the area and would like to host turbines. Can I participate?

"The project area for the Alberton Wind Farm has been finalised and all required environmental surveys and assessments have taken place.
As such, no further landowners are able to be included to host turbines at this time.

However, if there is sufficient community support, further projects could be developed. If you would like to participate in a future project, please provide your contact information and the volume and folio details for your property via the Contact Us page"

What is it like to live near a wind farm?

The following link is to a short film called "Waubra - The Way the Wind Blows" which features residents who live near or host turbines at the Waubra Wind Farm" http://www.windalliance.org.au/waubra-videos

What impacts will the project have?

Extensive surveys and assessments have been undertaken to ensure impacts have been minimised. Links to specialist assessments undertaken can be found above.
Additionally, an EPBC Referral and EES Referral, that is the Federal and State Environmental Assessment processes have been undertaken.
All assessments, surveys and reports have been provided to the Government bodies and have been or will be made publicly available by them via their usual process for public review and feedback.
Final results of the referrals will be published when they are available.
All noise and shadow flicker limits required by the Planning Regulations with regard to non-participating residences have been met.

What health risks do the turbines present?

The National Health and Medical Research Council convened the NHMRC Wind Farms and Human Health Reference Group from 1 February 2012 to 31 January 2015 to oversee a comprehensive review of the evidence on the possible health effects of wind farms.
The NHMRC Statement and Information Paper: Evidence on Wind Farms and Human Health can be found at: https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines-publications/eh57 or downloaded here
An extract from page 1 of the document follows:

Statement on the evidence
  • Examining whether wind farm emissions may affect human health is complex, as both the character of the emissions and individual perceptions of them are highly variable.
  • After careful consideration and deliberation, NHMRC concluded that there is currently no consistent evidence that wind farms cause adverse health effects in humans.
    This finding reflects the results and limitations of the direct evidence and also takes into account parallel evidence on the health effects of similar emissions from other sources.
  • Given the poor quality of current evidence and the concern expressed by some members of the community, there is a need for high quality research into possible health effects of wind farms, particularly within 1,500 metres (m)


What benefits are there for the wider community should the project go ahead?

Should the Alberton Wind Farm receive approval and go ahead, a Community Fund will be established for the project to contribute to the community in an ongoing and meaningful way during its operation.
The Community Fund is committed to at $80,000 per annum for 20 years, or $1.6m and, should the project be onsold, this would be a condition of sale.
The Funds will be administered by the community and could be used to make the area carbon neutral, provide scholarships, upgrade or maintain community assets.
Additionally, the project is expected to generate 460 gigawatt hours of clean energy per year, enough for approximately 45,000 Victorian households, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 390,000 tonnes annually.

The Project also has the potential to create around 115 jobs in the construction phase and 12 ongoing roles throughout its 20-30 year operation.
Jobs will include Transport Services, Construction Services and Ancillary Services such as accommodation, meals and entertainment.
A register of personnel and services available locally to assist during the construction and operation of the project is being compiled. If you would like to be listed, please email your resume or statement of capability via the Contact Us section

Will the wind farm affect the value of my property?

While there haven't been broad scale studies into the impact of wind farms on surrounding property values in Australia, a study by Henderson and Horning on the Crookwell Wind Farm found no reduction in land or property values.

The report can be found at: http://www.valuergeneral.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/195315/Preliminary_assessment_impact_of_wind_farms_on_surrounding_land_values_in_Australia.pdf

I have a business that could provide services to the Wind Farm or I would like to work on the construction of the project, who do I contact?

Please submit a statement of capability or resume via the Contact Us section of the website. Synergy Wind has a register set up that will be provided to the wind farm constructor to source services and materials from.

We cannot guarantee that your services will be used, just that the information will be collected and provided to the project partner that will be responsible for the construction of the project.

EES Referral: The Plan for the Alberton Wind Farm is in the process of being referred to the Victorian State Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
EPBC Referral: The plan for the Alberton Wind Farm has been referred to the Department of Environment and Energy for review.

On June 2, the Alberton Wind Farm project was presented at the LaTrobe Valley Authority New Energy Round Table event in Churchill. It was a great event with all levels of government represented, industry groups, businesses and service providers and project proponents. We invite any local businesses who would be interested in tendering for work on the wind farm should planning approval be received to register with us by sending a statement of capability via our Contact us page.

Community Fund

Should the Alberton Wind Farm receive approval and go ahead, a Community Fund will be established for the project to contribute to the community in an ongoing and meaningful way during its operation. How would this work?
  • each year projects, events or causes would be suggested by residents for funding that would support the community socially, environmentally or economically
  • a committee of local volunteers would be established to decide which of the suggested projects, events or causes should receive funding
  • the funds set aside each year by the Alberton Wind Farm would be allocated to those projects, events or causes
The Alberton Wind Farm would provide administrative support to the Community Fund but all decisions would be made by the people of the Wellington Shire.

Once Stakeholder Consultation has been concluded, the next step will be Permitting

If you have any questions or feedback please Contact us