Alberton Wind Farm

Frequently Asked Questions2018-07-23T19:16:10+00:00

FAQs

What are the impacts on property values?2018-09-14T09:39:40+00:00

There haven’t been broad scale studies into the impact of wind farms on surrounding property values in Australia to date.  Some smaller studies have been undertaken.  The findings of these do vary depending on the location, density and use of a particular area.  Following are a range of articles  looking at this topic:

NSW Government Review of the Impact of Wind Farms on Property Values

Wind Farms and Property Values

Wind Farms Change Property Values

Why do wind farms drag down house prices in some places but not others?

 

What benefits are there for the wider community should the project go ahead?2018-07-20T11:40:06+00:00

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.

Synergy has committed to providing $80,000 per annum for 20 years to the Community Fund, or $1.6m. Should the project be onsold, this commitment to the Community Fund 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

What approvals are required for the project?2018-07-27T10:10:43+00:00

After extensive pre-referral consultation, the plan for the Alberton Wind Farm was referred to the Federal Department of Environment and Energy for review on 23 December 2016. A decision was received on 29 March 2017 that the proposed action was deemed a “”controlled action”” under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act (EPBC).

The matters of national significance raised by the decision were responded to and submitted with the Environmental Effects Statement(EES) Referral to the Victorian State Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) in November 2017. The Minister for Planning confirmed on 27 December 2017 that an EES is not required for the project.

As a controlled action the project is subject to the Bilateral Assessment Agreement between the state and federal governments which is a formal process undertaken in conjunction with the planning application process (under the state Planning and Environment Act). As part of this process, the project will be advertised for public comment, and a notice will be sent to all properties registered within 5km of the proposed project area.

While the timing of notification is yet to be confirmed we expect it to occur in August/September, 2018. At that time the planning application documents will be made publicly available at the DELWP offices in Melbourne and Yarram, as well as the Wellington Shire Council. Synergy Wind will also be providing further information sessions for the local community.

Do wind turbines present any health risk?2018-07-20T11:37:52+00:00

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.

That review includes the following 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.
    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.
Will there be any noise from the wind farm?2018-09-14T09:28:42+00:00

Wind turbines are a relatively quiet form of energy.  There will be some sound from the wind farm but experience with other wind farms indicates that this will largely masked by the noise of the wind itself.  Compliance with wind energy facility noise guidelines is compulsory.

There are a number articles and papers that have been published on this subject, so the following links are simply a starting point for those wanting to find out more:

EPA – Wind Farms, Sound and Health

Waubra Foundation – Wind Farms and Noise

Brain can ‘hear’ wind farm noise

The real science on wind farms, noise, infrasound and health

What impact will the project have on visual amenity?2018-07-20T11:36:44+00:00

The Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment determined that the visual impact of the AWF is likely to be moderate low from most of the publicly accessible locations surrounding the wind farm, and that it:

  • Would have a low visual effect on the rural/coastal townships of Toora, Welshpool and Port Welshpool
  • Would have a low visual effect on the rural/coastal townships Port Albert, Alberton and Yarram
  • Would result in moderate low (albeit short term and transitory impacts) effects on views from the South Gippsland Highway
  • Would result in generally moderate impacts on views from most local roads where fully or partially screened by roadside and/or field boundary tree planting
  • Would not have a significant visual effect from public reserves and recreational areas including any available views from state significant landscape areas such as the Norramunga Marine and Coastal Park and Wilsons Promontory National Park

The wind farm would have potential to result in a range of visual impacts on individual residential dwellings surrounding the site.
Click here for further information on the LVIA.

What environmental impact will the project have?2018-07-26T13:06:48+00:00

The proposed project has undergone a detailed environmental analysis – including a review of native vegetation and flora, fauna, water environments, cultural heritage and greenhouse gas emissions.

The project is not expected to have a significant impact on the environment during operation.

There will be some impact during construction including an increase in traffic volumes, and some dust from construction activities.

Further details regarding the environmental analysis, including the decision by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning regarding the EES Referral, can be found at https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/environment-assessment/referrals-and-decisions#Ref-2017-R12-Resources

What sort of assessments have been undertaken for the project?2018-07-26T13:04:58+00:00

Extensive surveys and assessments have been undertaken including:

  • Flora and fauna reports
  • Landscape and visual impact assessment
  • Aviation Impact assessment
  • Investigation of possible impacts on broadcasting and radiocommunication services
  • Cultural Heritage Assessment
  • Geotechnical Investigation
  • Noise Assessment
  • Shadow Flicker and Blade Glint Assessment
  • Preliminary Transport Management Plan

All the above documentation is available for viewing at https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/environment-assessment/referrals-and-decisions

Why was the Alberton site chosen?2018-07-20T11:29:14+00:00

The proposed location of the Alberton Wind Farm was initially identified following an approach from interested landowners. It has a good, steady wind resource and access to the electricity grid via the 66kv cable that runs through the project site.

The area 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.

It 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