Thursday, 24 May 2007

Windfarm development well underway

Pyrenees Advocate
Friday 18/5/2007 Page: 5

Civil construction works are well underway for the 128 turbine Waubra Wind Farm. The civil works including construction of access tracks, turbine hardstands and turbine foundations are being carried out by Acciona Energy in conjunction with Leighton Contractors. Acciona Energy Construction Manager, Mr Bruce Payne said, We are very pleased that construction works are progressing well.

Leighton Contractors are doing a great job working with us to deliver the first important phase of this exciting wind farm project," he said. "We are almost finished building the internal access tracks and construction of the turbine foundations and crane hardstands are well underway. "Civil and earth works are expected to be completed in August this year. This will be followed by electrical works and the first wind turbine is expected to go up late this year." Mr Payne said. "We are using local construction and manufacturing skills and have sourced local equipment and materials wherever possible. "Currently more than 100 people are working on site.

Approximately 70% of the workers are local employees from Waubra and surrounds, either working directly for Leighton Contractors or for regional businesses that are involved as subcontractors," he said. The construction of the Wind Farm is expected to create around 200 jobs at its peak and approximately 30 permanent on site jobs for its operation plus office and management support staff.

Acciona Energy has taken great care to manage environmental issues during the development and construction phase of the wind farm. Environmental and Cultural Heritage Management Plans are being implemented to monitor and manage environment and cultural heritage matters during construction.

As part of its community relations program, Acciona Energy launched a dedicated website and publishes a Waubra Wind Farm newsletter on a regular basis which appears in the Pvrenees Advocate.

Tuki project receives support

Hepburn Shire Advocate
Wednesday 23/5/2007 Page: 7

SMEATON and Kingston residents are among supporters of the Tuki windfarm. Kingston's Bruce Armstrong said wind energy was an effective form of energy and was one way the Hepburn Shire district could reduce climate change. "Having been to a windfarm, I can say that they are surprisingly quiet. Nor did I see one dead bird at the base of a turbine," he said. "I agree that wind turbines need a base and access roads. "But hydro and fossil fuel installations also occupy land. "In the case of Tuki, the land that will be used is unfit for cultivation, as indicated by the area's alternate name of Stoney Rises," Mr Armstrong said.

Smeaton's Emma Paulding also suggested the turbines would not reduce the land's attractiveness. "The letter drop from the Spa Country Landscape Guardians, highlighting the threat to the visual beauty of the spa country, made me laugh. "Firstly because the 'beautiful landscape' they showed looked like nothing more than cleared farming land dotted by introduced weeds and straight lines - hardly a beautiful natural landscape as this land would have once been covered by native forest," she said.

The project consists of 19 turbines and will deliver up to 28.5MW of power with a capital investment required of approximately $70 million. The development requires approval by Hepburn Shire Council.

The Renewable Energy Centre helps to make the Subject of Wind Power a Breeze for the UK

The Renewable Energy Centre
May 22, 2007

With the rising popularity of renewable technologies in the UK The Renewable Energy Centre was pleased to announce a record number of visits to the Wind Power section of the website this month.

(PRLog.Org) – today was pleased to announce record visits to the Wind Power section of their website this month, as many individuals and companies are beginning to research this emerging technology in response to increasing media coverage.

The Nuclear Power versus Renewable Energy debate in the news recently has particularly fuelled interest in the subject and The Renewable Energy Centre believes it is vital that individuals and businesses throughout the UK are kept informed of the benefits and drawbacks of this alternative source of power.

Gordon Brown’s public pledge to build five ‘Eco-towns’ has also attracted attention. The proposal aims to create up to 100,000 new homes powered by solar panels and wind turbines and partly in response to the housing shortage crisis and an attempt to encourage people’s perceptions of Labour as a ‘green’ party.

The Renewable Energy Centre defines Wind Power as the conversion of wind energy into electricity using a wind turbine. The Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy from the wind into mechanical energy which is then used to drive a generator converting the energy into electricity.

Wind Power currently only contributes as little as 2% towards the total electricity generated in the UK. There are 141 grid-connected wind farms in the UK containing 1787 wind turbines with the capacity to generate 2066 MW - enough electricity to supply the needs of 1,154,964 homes.

The latest development in the Wind Power industry is the £3 billion ‘Atlantic Array’ proposal for the worlds largest offshore wind farm to be built of the coast of North Devon. The project has a potential capacity of 1,500 MW and could generate electricity for up to million homes, amounting to 53% of domestic energy needs of southwest England. This would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2.3 million tonnes per year, 5% of the southwest’s total.


OUTLOOK UK's Energy White Paper expected to propose new emissions trading scheme
AFX News Limited

LONDON (Thomson Financial) - The UK government's Energy White Paper, to be released today after a series of delays, is expected to propose a new emissions trading scheme that could affect up to 5,000 companies in the UK. Under its widely anticipated Energy Performance Commitment programme, large non-energy intensive businesses and public sector organisations would be included in a mandatory emissions trading scheme in the 'cap and trade' tradition of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

Cap and trade usually involves a government setting a limit (cap) on the amount of pollutants that can be emitted, and any reduction by a company below that level can be sold or traded to other companies that have used more than their allocation. Much of the fine-tuning of the proposal will take place through consultation after the White Paper is published but the scheme outlines the potential for up to 5,000 companies to fall under the remit of EPCs.

The number of companies affected will depend on a threshold of electricity consumption that has yet to be decided but according to a Defra emissions report, the focus of the departments consultation covered a threshold of 3,000 MWh per year of electricity, which covers a sector of about 5,000 organisations including supermarkets, hotel chains and rail operators.


Q1 2007 Renewable Energy & Biofuels Country Attractiveness Indices

Ernst & Young recently released its Q1 2007 Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices, a series of indices that rank countries on their attractiveness with regards to alternative energy growth and development. These indices provide good yardsticks for investors who want to know which markets offer the best near and long term alt energy growth prospects.


Change the Rules, Change the Future

Grist: Environmental News and Commentary

New energy rules could unleash an economic boom and help quash climate change

In 1997, as the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change was being negotiated, the U.S. Senate voted, 95-0, to reject any agreement that "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States." The senators were acting on the widespread fear that the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy would hurt American businesses and cost millions of jobs. Those were the beliefs and the politics of the times.

But times change. Ten years later, it's increasingly clear that it will be more costly not to act on global warming than to act. Clean, renewable, efficient energy will not be a burden but a boon -- the next in a series of revolutions, beginning with telecom and digital that have invigorated our economy with new ideas, new industries, and new jobs.

Voters, investors, activists, business leaders, and policy experts are pushing for clean energy to create jobs, limit climate change, and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. And yet, progress is slow: oil imports and carbon emissions continue to rise. Why?

Because the rules of the game -- the laws, regulations, subsidies, and tax credits that shape the energy market and the way it acts -- continue to make fossil fuels a less expensive, more convenient choice for consumers. These rules are both the heart of the problem, and the key to a solution.


Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Gust of energy support

Bunbury Herald
Tuesday 22/5/2007 Page: 3

A RENEWABLE energy company testing the suitability of a wind farm at Brunswick Junction has indicated it would be interested in supplying green power for Binningup's desalination plant due to open in 2011. Pacific Hydro community relations manager Emily Wood yesterday said if the Brunswick wind farm ever went ahead, then the company would be interested in supporting the desalination plant. Eighteen months ago, a 50m mast was installed about 3km out of Brunswick to test winds speeds.

Ms Wood said the company was about six months away from deciding whether it would continue investigating the site by erecting a 100m mast. Ms Wood said it cost hundreds of millions of dollars to erect a wind farm and possible sites were being tested all over Australia for wind speed, proximity to grid infrastructure, population, and community interest. She said studies were in their preliminary stages and it took about five years to assess a site and complete construction of a wind farm.

Last week, a spokesman for Water Resources Minister John Kobelke said the Binningup site for the State's second desalination plant, Desal 2, was chosen because the coastal land was already owned by the Water Corporation. The spokesman said the plant would be built so its capacity could be more than doubled to 100gL and special filtration tanks added. The desalinated water would be piped to the Harvey-Perth connection.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Cashing in the wind

Courier Mail
Tuesday 22/5/2007 Page: 43

INCREASING energy demands and the need for clean power generation have propelled European countries such as Germany and Spain to lead the world in the field of wind energy.

Denmark, a small country of just 43,000sq km, has now built the world's largest offshore wind park in the North Sea. The wind park, 20km offshore, will generate 75 per cent of Denmark's electricity needs with wind energy by 2025. Denmark will host the UN Climate Summit in 2009 and wants to lead the way in the fight against global warming.

Something In The Air: I'll wait and see

Fraser Coast Chronicle
Tuesday 22/5/2007 Page: 7

As the nuclear debate lurches forward in Australia, this environmental idealist will support any energy sources that are sustainable and help to address climate change. But I will only support nuclear energy if it can compete on an equal basis with renewable energy, which I don't believe it can. Hidden government subsidies and deferred costs will be used to make it look financially viable.

Putting aside risks of nuclear weapons proliferation, the two main issues are accidents and radioactive waste. While the nuclear industry has an excellent safety record, there have been accidents other than Chernobyl. Nuclear plants are also potential targets for terrorism. Despite the small risk, a big nuclear accident has such far reaching ramifications that the full risk is uninsurable.

The World Nuclear Association's website says there are 270,000 tonnes of highly radioactive spent fuel rods in temporary storage world-wide with 12,000 tonnes added each year. They also say that "final disposal is not urgent". Disposal implies that nature will eventually return it to the environment. But spent fuel rods will take at least 10,000 years to decay to the same level of radioactivity as high-grade uranium ore and at least 100,000 years to become truly safe. So I think it is much more honest to speak of "storage".

The nuclear industry has been going for fifty years but no high level nuclear waste has been permanently stored. Permanent storage requires spent fuel to be encased in solid copper canisters that are placed far underground in rock that is believed to be geologically stable for at least 100,000 years and then backfilled all the way to the surface. Only the Swedes and Finns are even close to achieving this incredible engineering feat.

It is unlikely that any corporation or government can guarantee the safe storage of dangerous radioactive waste for a time that is at least as long as civilization has existed and perhaps as long as humans have been walking on this planet. So when the nuclear industry is prepared to accept full liability for the risk and has a permanent waste storage facility, not just planned but actually in place, then I'll be prepared to consider nuclear energy as competing on a level playing field. In the meantime I will continue to say no to nuclear energy.

Project expected to raise charges

Tuesday 22/5/2007 Page: 4
Matthew Warren Environment writer

MANDATORY targets for climate-friendly energy technologies, including new hydrogen clean coal, could be the most effective way of steering Australia to a low-emissions future. The new $2 billion Hydrogen Energy power station proposed by Rio Tinto and BP, which produces electricity at about the same cost as wind energy, will require a doubling of wholesale electricity prices if it is to proceed.

Hydrogen Energy chief executive Lewis Gillies said the Kwinana proposal would need a "technology-specific carbon price" if it were to get the go-ahead after a $50 million feasibility study concluded in 2011. He said electricity from the new clean coal technology was expected to cost about the same as wind energy, about $70 per megawatt hour, which is double the long-term price for base-load coal-fired electricity. This would require a price on greenhouse emissions of more than $30 a tonne to make this new power station competitive, doubling wholesale electricity prices and pushing up retail prices by about 30 per cent.

Mr Gillies said the joint venture should be lobbying the Howard Government to intervene in the market to make the technology competitive before the introduction of a long-term price on greenhouse emissions from either emissions trading or a tax. "Here is a new technology; let's not wait for a carbon trading system to get into place to enable it," Mr Gillies said. "There are a number of ways the Government can provide the enabling policy.

The key thing to note here is that with all forms of low-carbon power, they are more expensive than conventional power." The renewable energy industry yesterday welcomed the announcement, but warned that the new project would have to compete with even cheaper low emission technologies, including geothermal and solar thermal.

Renewable Energy Generators Australia chief executive Susan Jeanes said her industry was pushing the Howard Government for a wider mandatory target for low-emission energy technologies, which would include projects like this new clean coal technology. "We are happy to compete with clean coal on price and environmental grounds. We just need the market mechanism within which to compete," Ms Jeanes said.

"The Mandatory Renewable Energy Target was a market trading mechanism that allowed the cheapest renewable energy to come into the market. The renewable energy industry has no problem at all opening up that sort of mechanism to other energy sources like clean coal, and even nuclear, if the Government decides to go down that track." Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said the joint venture would need government co-investment in the upfront capital cost as well as continuing market intervention to support its higher electricity generation costs.

He indicated this market intervention would need to be open to competition to ensure it did not exclude improvements in rival low-emissions technologies, including renewable energy and nuclear power. "If you start producing electricity for $70 a megawatt hour, what do you do when someone comes along and says I can do that with nuclear for $65 to $70, can I have a share of this market as well, and can I have the same benefits as well?" he said.

Can climate change get worse? It has...

The Age
May 22, 2007
Liz Minchin, environment reporter

The world is now on track to experience more catastrophic damages from climate change than in the worst-case scenario forecast by international experts, scientists have warned. The research, published in a prestigious US science journal, shows that between 2000 and 2004 the rate of increase in global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels was three times greater than in the 1990s. That is faster than even the worst-case scenario modelled by the world's leading scientists in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, published over recent months, because the updated emissions figures were not available in time to be included.

The climbing emissions mean that average global temperatures are now on track to rise by more than four degrees this century - enough to thaw vast areas of arctic permafrost and leave about 3 billion people suffering from water shortages, including in Australia. And Australia's emissions from fossil fuels are increasing faster than the global average, growing at nearly twice the rate of the United States.

Senior CSIRO scientist Michael Raupach, who led the international research on accelerating global emissions, told The Age that the findings were "dreadful". "Emissions are increasing faster than we thought, which means the impacts of climate change will also happen even sooner than expected," said Dr Raupach, a co-chairman of the Global Carbon Project, based at the CSIRO in Canberra. "What this really highlights is the urgency of cutting emissions. It won't be easy, but we know that we have solutions available to us now to do that and that it can be done at a relatively small cost to the economy."

The jump in emissions since 2000 has been driven by increasing populations, growing global wealth, and greater than expected use of fossil fuels. The paper found that none of the world's major rich or developing regions are "decarbonising" their energy supplies, by reducing demand or switching to less polluting energy, which spells trouble for international efforts to curb global greenhouse emissions. The research is being published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The outlook for Australia is particularly dire. In assessing the same data for Australia, Dr Raupach found Australia's carbon emissions have been growing at nearly twice the global average since 1990. Yet Australia is also considered to be one of the most vulnerable developed countries to climate change. The IPCC recently warned that global warming was now causing "increasing stresses on water supply and agriculture, changed natural ecosystems (and) reduced seasonal snow cover" in Australia.

Dr Raupach also found Australia has achieved less than the US or Europe in improving the carbon intensity of its economy. Australia is the world's second worst carbon polluter per capita, producing 19 tonnes of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels alone each year, just behind the US, with 20 tonnes a year. The global average is 4.3 tonnes per person.

"While China's total emissions are far higher than Australia's, that's only because there are 65 Chinese for every Australian; per capita their emissions were 3.7 tonnes a year in 2004," Dr Raupach said. "So when it comes to emissions reductions over the coming decades, Australia clearly has to make a bigger proportional reduction than China in any globally equitable and workable strategy."

Early this month, scientists, economists and government representatives from more than 120 countries signed off a landmark statement saying it was possible and affordable to make deep emission cuts, but that political inaction remained a key barrier to progress.

Farm benefits flow on to community

Bendigo Advertiser
19/05/2007 Page: 28

FOUR wind energy facilities are now operating in Victoria. Codrington, Toora and Wonthaggi are near the coast, while Challicum Hills is well inland, south-east of Ararat. Their total operational output is 104 megawatts. By way of comparison, three megawatts is sufficient to power 3000 homes.

There have been three major approvals of wind farms in Victoria in recent times, which will lead to a huge increase in the amount of wind-generated power produced in this state over the next few years. In August last year, the Mount Gellibrand site near Colac, was approved for a 232 megawatt wind farm, a $380 million project which will provide the electricity needs of 133,450 homes.

In October last year, the State Government announced approval for Australia's largest wind farm of 329 megawatts near Macarthur. This $600 million project will provide the electricity needs of 190,000 homes and last month the minister announced his approval of the Mt Mercer wind farm near Daylesford, which will have a capacity of 160 megawatts and save an estimated 390,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

Across Bass Strait, Hydro Tasmania will commission a major project expanding the existing windfarm at Woolnorth in Tasmania's north west. The existing plant produces 65 megawatts of power and the upgrade will deliver a further 75 megawatts, bringing online Australia's biggest windfarm to date.

There has been a huge increase in the economies of scale for wind farming, with new European technology turning out turbines capable of producing three megawatts of power each and some capable of producing five megawatts each. A side benefit both overseas and in Australia has been the steady flow of tourists coming to see wind farms in action.

Hydro Tasmania spokesman Josh Bradshaw said 35,000 people had been through the Woolnorth facility since it opened in 2004 and a local tour company was set up specifically to guide visitors around the site. He said other local benefits included upgraded roads and electrical systems and hundreds of construction jobs during the development of each plant, along with the flow-on effects to small town food and accommodation businesses, as well as the tourism potential.

Winding up the neighbourhood

Ballarat Courier
19/05/2007 Page: 5

DOUG Hobson believes Victoria is facing two major resource and infrastructure problems - one is water, the other electricity. For Mr Hobson, a farmer, wind turbines are part of a solution to a shortage of energy. On an 80ha property at Addington that Mr Hobson shares with his wife, Annette, and brother, Barry, five turbines are being built. Roads to each site are in place and excavations for each turbine are complete. Over the next few weeks concrete will be poured into the holes which are 11m by 11m and about 1.5m deep.

For several years Mr Hobson had thought the farm on elevated land was suitable for turbines - it was often windy on the hilly land but calm at his home at nearby Weatherboard. So when he was approached by Wind Power with a proposal for a turbine project his family was open to the idea. Wind Power has since handed the project to Acciona Energy.

He is familiar with the criticisms about the wind farms and rumours of rates skyrocketing. As far as we know they (rates) shouldn't be any different because we don't own the turbines," he said. If we owned the things they would probably be seen as a capital improvement."

Ballarat council financial operations manager Rod Leith said it was likely there would be no change to the amount paid in rates by the farmer unless the turbines dramatically increased a property's value. Mr Hobson is happy to talk to people about the turbines and says he would rather live near a wind turbine than a coal-fired power station. Mr Hobson said another attraction was that farming could continue around turbines and they would generate income.

High pressure for pure water

Sunday Times
20/05/2007 Page: 69

THE desalination plant planned for Binningup will operate on the same principles as the Kwinana plant. The Kwinana plant is powered by a wind farm 200km north of Perth, near Cervantes, but a renewable energy source has yet to be identified for the new plant.

Desalination uses reverse-osmosis to remove salt from water under high pressure. Sea water is collected in an onshore wet-well below sea level. It is then pumped to a reverse-osmosis system via a pre-treatment system that adds chlorine to remove biological matter. The chlorine is then neutralised so that it does not hinder the reverse-osmosis process. High-pressure pumps pressurise the sea water so that its molecules diffuse through a fine membrane that removes the salts and impurities.

Finally, the water is treated with lime and carbon dioxide to make it suitable for drinking and stored in a giant 12 megalitre tank that holds two hours of production. From there, it is pumped to the integrated water-supply system. A total of 144 megalitres of water a day can be pumped into Perth's water system.

The highly salty seawater concentrate produced as a byproduct of the process is pumped back into the sea via diffusers to minimise environmental impact. Critics of the first desalination plant were particularly sceptical of the final process, fearing that the concentrated salt water would prove hazardous to marine life. Their fears have so far proved unfounded, however, with investigations showing marine life in Cockburn Sound largely unaffected by the desalination plant.

Stage two progressing as planned

Portland Observer
16/05/2007 Page: 1

SECTIONS of Cape Bridgewater have been transformed into construction sites with contractors having poured 16 of the 29 foundations for Pacific Hydro's Portland Wind Energy Project. The 58 megawatt stage two development will have 29 wind generators which will each produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of more than 1000 Victorian homes. The second stage of the wider $330 million PWEP project is expected to be completed in the first half of next year.

Pacific Hydro PWEP site manager Danny Halstead said Portland-based firm GR Carr Pty Ltd had poured the 16th foundation last week, with each foundation taking an estimated 300 cubic metres of concrete. There is also 24 tonnes of steel in each foundation. "Porthaul has also completed more than 80 per cent of the access roads needed for the project," he said. Mr Halstead said the first tower was expected to be installed later this year, with nacelles expected to be shipped from Germany to Portland in September and October.'

Construction work at the substation next to Portland Aluminium is also well underway. Work at the substation will allow energy generated from the project to be fed into the National Electricity Grid. The PWEP will include two more stages - at capes Sir William Grant and Nelson. The first stage at Yambuk has already been completed. Pacific Hydro chief executive officer Rob Grant said he was very pleased Stage Two was on schedule. "We have a great workforce of local contractors and after almost four months of construction the project is progressing as planned," he said.

Wind turbines cause friction

Bendigo Advertiser
19/05/2007 Page: 29

PIPERS Creek is majestic countryside, whatever eyes you look through; rolling hills flanked by the northern slopes of the Cobaw Ranges pushing north-east into the McHarg Ranges and beyond. It is the start of the great boulder country that continues through to Kilmore and Seymour. It is as though ancient giants have left a playground of strewn marbles in jumbled clusters, often poised precariously on the lips of rocky outcrops.

But its hilltops are bald, stripped of almost all vegetation during the 150 or so years since white settlement. Dennis Cartwright came to this area about 10 years ago to set up a family vineyard. He bought more than 40 hectares from a local sheep farmer whose property had been quarantined after an outbreak of Bovine Johnes disease decimated the herds and livelihoods of many graziers. The muscle-wasting disease is spread through the faecal contamination of pastures that are carrying more beasts than they can sustain.

Many Pipers Creek farms changed hands as a result of the disease, others switched to cattle, country retreats and niche market ventures, such as vineyards. In early 2004, another opportunity knocked on the door - wind farming was on the agenda. "I was approached in early 2004 by Wind Power Pty Ltd," Mr Cartwright recalled. "Their conversation was along the lines that they were looking to invest in wind opportunities around the area and would we be prepared to enter an exclusivity arrangement not to talk to anyone else.

"That was before the Macedon Ranges Landscape Guardians came along." The next thing Mr Cartwright knew his name was being bandied around the neighbourhood as the "black sheep" of the local community who had sold out to the wind energy enemy. "One neighbour was abused by another neighbour, saying that he had agreed to put a wind turbine on top of his hill, which meant the other neighbour's superannuation was going to depreciate because the property's value would go down," Mr Cartwright said.

"They said I was the bad guy, but no one ever came to see me. "There was all this beat-up going on and all Wind Power had wanted to do was put a monitoring station on my hill," he said. "There's nothing wrong with keeping options and I really an in favour of wind energy, I suppose. They're a great thing for the environment."

Mr Cartwright said he could not accept arguments that wind turbines affected birds and said he had satisfied himself by visiting the Ararat wind farm to check noise problems. "They make a whoosh when you are up close," he said. `But as to the concrete pollution argument from the turbine footings, that's bull; cows graze happily underneath them. "There really are no arguments that make sense, the only thing being the aesthetics. Some find them offensive and others find them peaceful," Mr Cartwright said. "I think they add a component of humanity to a landscape without necessarily having anyone around. "It's a vitality," he said.

Plans approved for wind farm

Mortlake Dispatch
17/05/2007 Page: 1

A planning permit has been issued for a $49 million wind farm in Woorndoo. Moyne Shire councillor Stan Cook said the permit was passed unanimously at a meeting last week and the project would now go on to the next stage. "We still have a way to go yet," he said. "This is the first stage of the process. "We don't know when construction will start; that is dependent on wind farm developers, NewEn." Mr Cook said more than 15 wind turbines will be built on a 750 hectare property on Woorndoo-Chatsworth Road.

He said the project will produce enough energy to power 17,257 homes. "It will also offset carbon emissions, to the equivalent of taking 27,000 cars off the road each year. "When the project goes ahead it will create 60 new jobs for nine months. "Some of those jobs will go to people in the area and it will also help local business because people will spend in nearby towns. "When the wind farm is finished it will create four full-time jobs." Mr Cook said council will eventually collect rate revenue from the wind farm."

Nothing will be collected until the project is up and running. "It will be a great development for the area." He said there had been some objections to the proposal in the past but they were based on things that could be overcome. "A couple of residents will be able to see the turbines in the distance. "We have a policy that wind farms have to be a certain distance from homes. "Some people also had concerns the turbines would cause noise at certain times." Councillor Brenda Hampson said there was potential for the wind farm to become a tourist attraction. "It is a project we have worked on for many years," she said.

Cr Hampson said because the wind farm would produce less than 30 megawatts of power the decision was left to Moyne Shire. "Anything over 30 megawatts has to go to the State Government and this is 29.9 megawatts." She said councillors had met with objectors and developers prior to the approval. "One of the objections was the impact on flora and fauna.

"The applicants will now prepare an environmental management plan." Mac's Hotel publican Tony McEwan said Mortlake had around 20 businesses and the increased employment could have a flow on effect for the town. "It may be a bit of a boost for Mortlake; the town needs it." he said. Mortlake IGA Friendly Grocer proprietor Marie Evans said Woorndoo was not part of a major tourist area and, as such, the turbines would not effect many homes. "Not many people live in Woorndoo," she said. "We have not heard anyone complain about the decision."

Prepared for all events with turbines

16/05/2007 Page: 8

AS PART of their general emergency response planning, Captain Ray Argento and Secretary Ken Roche of Toora Fire Brigade met recently with various representatives to discuss how to deal with various scenarios relating to the wind turbines on the Toora hills.

The meeting was also attended by Toora Wind Farm Manager Barry Atkins of Stanwell Corporation, Specialist Response Officer Ken O'Brien from Country Fire Authority [CFA] Headquarters, Gippsland CFA Regional Operations Officer Simon Bloink and South Gippsland Group Officer Neville Pulham.

Captain Ray Argento said that Toora CFA volunteers had already carried out special training exercises since the wind farm's construction in relation to wind turbine fires.

Mr O'Brien advised that the current meeting was effectively fine-tuning strategies for the CFA to follow in the unlikely event that there was a hazardous materials problem or a person was trapped in the nacelle [the room or capsule at the top of the tower that contains the equipment].