Saturday 1 April 2006

Locals Generate Wind Farm Progress...

Central Midlands and Coastal Advocate, Page: 7
Thursday, 30 March 2006

THE Emu Downs Wind Farm, 25 kilometres west of Badgingarra. is making good progress, with welcome input from local business. The new onsite Administration building and store, with complimentary landscaping, was recently completed by local company Swan Aussie Constructions, with assistance from Jurien Landscaping. The Shire of Dandaragan undertook earthworks for the building as well as construction of I he access road intersection with Bibby Road.

Shire of Dandaragan Deputy Chief Executive Officer, lan Rennie, said of the Emu Downs Wind Farm construction contracts, "This is a great win for local people, for the local economy, and for regional infrastructure development". Emu Downs Wind Farm Community Affairs Manager, Ken Jack, said the project's joint venturers, Stanwell Corporation and Griffin Energy, were pleased the project was creating local opportunities for businesses, tradespeople, suppliers and other service providers. "Where possible, long term employment is being created and local labour used to support the project. Accommodation and meals, fuels, vehicle servicing, plant operators and operations, roadworks and concrete supplies are all being provided locally.

"The Administration building has been designed to serve the project for the life of the wind farm, and with energy efficient environmental considerations in mind. Solar water heating, insulated walls, a reflective roof and tinted, screened windows have all been installed by local business," Mr Jack said. J&R Carter's Fine Furniture manufactured the office furniture and Jurien Bay Air Conditioning, Jurien Plumbing, ML Communications, and Jurien Bay Betta Electrical also provided their services for the fit out. Roadworks at the intersection of the access road and Bibby Road are finished.

Roadswest Engineering designed the intersection and most of the surveying onsite was carried out by FR Rodda & Co. Gravel and sand were sourced from landowners Rudi and Dot Sudholx. and Mick and Jan Ackland, while Jurien Signs, S&V Pollitt and LYNKYM Springs Fencing Contractors were responsible for signage and fencing. The Pinnacles Best Western Motel has accommodated some of the workforce and Cervantes BP Service Station meets the Project Team's fuel requirements.

Derrick's Coastal AG and Mitre 10 Jurien Bay have also supplied items to the Project. Mr Jack said Stanwell and Griffin Energy want to thank the local business community and Council for their support and show of interest in the wind farm. "The project is off to a solid start and remains on schedule and on budget," he said. Mr Jack said the $180 million, 80 Megawatt Emu Downs Wind Farm would be commissioned in Spring this year.

"We are looking forward to launching this world class project and hope the local community will continue their involvement and support as we progress construction and celebrate project milestones. We are proud to be working with the WA community to deliver secure, safe and sustainable power," Mr Jack said. Emu Downs Wind Farm will generate enough green energy to power more than 50,000 homes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 275, 000 tonnes annually, a significant contribution to Australia's action on climate change. Electricity from the wind farm will be purchased by State energy company, Western Power Corporation.

The project will comprise 48 x 1.65 MW turbines, a substation, interconnection to the main 132 kV grid, administration building, and a network of access roads. It also includes an adjacent car park and viewing area (on Bibby Road, Badgingarra) with educational display. With wind farms becoming increasingly popular as tourist attractions, Emu Downs Wind Farm is poised to provide a new attraction for the area and boost local tourism activity within the Shire of Dandaragan.

The project will link in with local tourism operators and the Pinnacles Visitor Centre.

Friday 31 March 2006

Babcock & Brown Buys Wind Farms

This action by Babcock & Brown appears to explode the myths that wind farm developments in Europe are declining and are not economically viable...

The Australian Financial Review, Page: 76
Friday, 31 March 2006

Babcock & Brown Wind Partners has bought three wind farms under development in northern France for EU30 million ($51.1 million) plus transaction and tax costs. Also, Wind Partners has a framework agreement to buy about 300 megawatts of wind farms in Germany between 2006 and 2009, giving it a development portfolio of some 1000 megawatts in Europe and the US. James Hall.

For further details see the Babcock and Brown web site..

EP Wind Power Firing

Stock Journal, Page: 16
Thursday, 30 March 2006

POWER from the Mount Millar Wind Farm between Cleve and Cowell on EP is being delivered into South Australian homes and businesses. The first of the 35 wind turbines at the farm began generating power on February 23 and the remainder of the turbines will be gradually brought online as commissioning progresses.

Tarong Energy project manager Nic Buckley said the Mount Millar Wind Farm would complement Tarong's other SA wind farm - the 34.5 megawatt Starfish Hill Wind Farm -completed in December 2003. Construction work on the Mount Millar project began In December 2004 and it is expected that, once fully operational, the farm will generate 70MW of electricity, enough for about 36,000 typical households, and reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by up to 4.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent during its expected 25-year life.

Newfield Wind Farm Controversy

The Camperdown Chronicle, Page: 2
Tuesday, 28 March 2006

Spanish company Acciona Energy has confirmed it will lodge an application for a $45 million Newfield wind farm to Corangamite Shire Council by August. The company, formerly called EHN Oceania, is now in the planning and environmental assessment stage of the project and is now satisfied the proposed site has the potential for 14 wind turbines which would generate enough energy to power 28,000 homes. Acciona, an international renewable energy company whose network extends throughout seven countries, plans to build a 28 megawatt wind farm on privately owned properties along Newfield Ridge, eight kilometres inland from Port Campbell next to the existing gas plants. Due to the wind farm being under 30 megawatts, the final decision will be in the hands of the Corangamite Shire Council.

If the application is approved, Acciona hopes the wind farm will be operational by mid 2007. Acciona Energy environment and stakeholder relations manager Stephanie Rice said the company had been investigating the potential for a wind farm at Newfield since 2004. "We've been monitoring wind in the area for a while now." she said.

"Newfield has a good wind resource for producing green power and it's a good opportunity to connect electricity into the grid network. "We're going through the planning process at the moment, conducting studies, surveys and investigations and preparing an environmental assessment and planning permit application for the local council," Ms Rice said. "We've had meetings with the local council and have kept them informed about what we're monitoring along the way." Ms Rice said Acciona had contracted independent consultants GHD, an engineering and sustainability consultancy company, to interview locals in and around Port Campbell, Newfield and Timboon.

"We've done some survey work and interviews in the community around February and March," she said. "The purpose of these interviews is to understand the community's aspirations and vision for the future, as well as local attitudes and opinions on renewable energy and the wind farm proposal. "In the coming months we're planning to talk to locals and have consultation sessions. "The results from the survey and interviews will inform the framework for on-going community consultation."

"We want to give the local community a picture of what renewable energy is and find out what they want to know and provide them with information. "Ms Rice said there had been a mixture of responses from locals about the proposed wind farm. "We've had a lot of positive comments and also heard concerns about the impact of a renewable energy on neighbouring farms. "The most issues people talk about are the noise levels and impact on flora and fauna."

Ms Rice said the developer is "fairly confident" that the project will go ahead. "We're only at the beginning stages of this project but we're an experienced company," she said. This is the third project in Australia to be undertaken by the company which claims to be the largest wind energy developer in the world. "We have a very successful project in South Australia and last year we got development approval for a wind farm near Goulburn in New South Wales," she said.

"This wind farm is a smaller size (to our other projects), but it's an important one in helping Victoria reach its greenhouse gas emission targets. "We're happy to talk to people about any questions they might have."

Renewable Energy For Hopetoun

Warracknabeal Herald, Page: 1
Tuesday, 28 March 2006

THE Yarriambiack Shire Council has given its support to the University of Ballarat's proposal, to research the capacity of community-owned renewable energy generation for Hopetoun, particularly from wind power. A report from the shire's Economical Development Officer Terry Sanders, stated the Yarriambiack Shire will be working with the University of Ballarat who will be conducting the study, and the Hopetoun Progress Association. Mr Sanders informed councillors at the March meeting that after meeting with the relevant bodies involved, the proposed three year feasibility study will survey Hopetoun's current and projected power demand. The study will also collect wind speed data, investigate potential alternative renewable energy technologies, research waste management needs and practice and investigate potential sustainable industries for Hopetoun.

An application has been submitted to the Victorian Government's "Sustainability Fund" and it will take about three months to process. For the University of Ballarat to start the study, the Yarriambiack Shire has offered them access to office facilities in Hopetoun, a car. office staff and people from the engineering industry to assist with the technical aspects of the study. The University of Ballarat initiated the study about 12 months ago because they wanted towns in northern Victoria especially smaller towns, to consider the option of using alternative energy sources, including wind power and solar energy. By starting the project in Hopetoun, Mr Sanders said the University is hoping other towns in the area will also consider it and the University of Ballarat plans on developing a template for other communities to apply in such studies.

Thursday 30 March 2006

The 3rd way...

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Imagine how attitudes to wind farms might have been more enlightened and welcoming had the community wind farm concept been promoted?

Community owned wind energy projects. The 3rd way...

Wind energy can become part of the community by offering farmers, as well as both rural and urban residents the ability to build, own, operate-and profit from-their own renewable source of electricity.

Read more..