Farmer wants transparency over wind farm plans

A Cooriemungle landowner is concerned that a new windfarm developer is trying to increase the height of its turbines to 200 metres without having to “be transparent” and notifying neighbours.

A Cooriemungle landowner is concerned that a new windfarm developer is trying to increase the height of its turbines to 200 metres without having to “be transparent” and notifying neighbours.

Alistair McDonald, who owns a property 1.3 kilometres from the site of a proposed turbine, says he was never opposed to the idea of the Ferguson Wind Farm although he had concerns with close proximity of the turbines to a road.

But Mr McDonald is frustrated with the process in place for windfarm development in Victoria which he believes is “not a level playing field”, leaving landowners disadvantaged against “faceless” developers.

Ferguson Wind Farm, under the ownership Future Energy, had previously applied for State Government approval for a three-turbine wind farm across privately owned properties bordered by Turong Road, Princetown Road and Boorook Road at Cooriemungle, about 12.5 kilometres south of Simpson.

The Ferguson Wind Farm, according to its website, is now owned by BayWa r.e. Wind Pty Ltd and it will connect to the existing 22kV electricity network in the area, producing the “equivalent energy usage of around 4000 households” when operating.

The website also says “the proposed wind turbines will have an overall height of up to 150 metres to the tip of the blade”, as approved by the government on April 12 last year.

BayWa r.e. says online that “work is currently under way to prepare for the construction of the wind farm which is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2018”.

But the State Government has confirmed that the applicant is seeking to increase the turbine height from the approved 150 metres to 200 metres.

“An application has been received to amend the turbine height at the Ferguson Wind Farm, this application will be assessed on its merit,” a government spokesperson said.

If approved, a 200-metre turbine would be slightly higher than the 62-floor Empire building in Melbourne’s CBD, as a comparison.

See today’s Colac Herald for more.

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