Friday 8 September 2006

Powering our city

Port Lincoln Times
05/09/2006 Page: 4

THE Cathedral Rocks wind farm at Sleaford has produced 137 million kilowatt hours since it was fully commissioned in September last year.

The wind farm has been powering Port Lincoln and surrounding areas with "clean green" electricity since the end of April 2005, when the first five turbines produced electricity and before all 33 turbines had been put up, according to facilities manager John Fannin.

"Ten turbines functioning at once would be enough to power Port Lincoln, and the remaining 23 would be enough to do Eyre Peninsula," he said.

While there had been times when all 33 turbines had-functioned at once, there were usually several decommissioned while the technology was fine tuned, Mr Fannin said. He said the testing and analysis of each turbine was an ongoing process.

"Routine testing and servicing of the turbines is continuing as part of the commissioning process, and recently another three electrical and mechanical service technicians have been employed at the site," Mr Fannin said.

"The eight full-time staff members currently working at the wind farm are all Port Lincoln locals." Other recent work at the site has been an upgrade of roads, access areas around turbines and buildings, and drainage works. "Local Port Lincoln companies were used to undertake this work.

'We've also had plumbers here hooking up three 25,000 litre water tanks to a two-inch CFS connection point, so the local CFS have access to the water to fight fires in this area."

While Mr Fannin has hosted visits of a few local community groups, including the Probus and Rotary Clubs, as well as school tours, there are no plans for tourism or regular tours of the site.

Mr Fannin said the community appeared to support the wind farm. "At the Tunarama Festival in February, the feedback was very positive with most people having seen the turbines and many people asking when they could visit."

Mr Fannin said environment work on the ground was also part of the wind farm's activities. He is carrying out pest, plant and animal control, with assistance from the Eyre Peninsula Animal and Plant Control Board and other local service providers.

Seeds from native plant species on the site was collected before construction began, and were used to re-generate the roads required for construction, to narrower access tracks used by maintenance vehicles.

"The regeneration of plants along the tracks is going well and we are pleased it hasn't taken that long to achieve," Mr Fannin said.

Windfarm delays

Gippsland Times & Maffra Spectator
05/09/2006 Page: 6

PLANNING Minister Rob Hulls has been forced to extend the planning permits for the Bald Hills wind farm development.

Mr Hulls said the project would be well on the way to completion by now if Senator Campbell decided to approve the wind farm within the 30 days required under the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

"We don't have the luxury of playing political games any more with climate change and the Bracks Government is determined to do everything in its power to encourage investment in renewable energy," he said.

Waubra wind farm a step closer

Pyrenees Advocate
Friday 1/9/2006, Page: 3

THE developer of the Waubra wind farm, Acciona Energy, has moved another step closer to starting construction of the project with the signing of a $2 million supply contract, with Western districts company Keppel Prince Engineering.

Keppel Prince Engineering will supply the steel assemblies to connect the concrete foundations of the wind turbines to the steel towers. The order covers the supply of all 128 assemblies for the Waubra wind turbines.

Acciona Energy Managing Director, Mr Brett Thomas said,"Acciona Energy is pleased to source the foundation assemblies from a local engineering company.

This is the first supply contract to be awarded for the Waubra wind farm and it demonstrates that local companies will directly benefit from the project," he said.

Mr Steve Garner, General Manager, Keppel Prince Engineering said. "We are pleased to be working on the Waubra wind farm project. The components will be made in the Fabrication and Assembly Workshops in Portland keeping investment flowing into the region" lie said.

On ground works at the Waubra wind farm are expected to start this year and continue through 2007 into early 2008.

It is anticipated the contract for the supply of towers. supply of wind turbines and construction contract will be awarded shortly.

The total development, construction and operation cost of the Waubra wind farm project is in the order of $400 million.

Householders join forces to combat climate change

Cowra Guardian
Friday 1/9/2006, Page: 8

Cowa residents are amongst the first householders in the world to combat climate change by entering the revolutionary world of carbon trading.

Easy Being Green is a company behind a concept to distribute Climate Saver Packs free of charge, which contain six energy saving light globes and one AAA rated water saving showerhead (for electric hot water users).

By installing these packs, a record number of Cowra householders are saving $150 off both their annual electricity and water bill and saves one tonne of greenhouse gas pollution from entering earth's atmosphere. Pack recipients also save an average of 21,000 litres of water each year.

CEO at Easy Being Green, Paul Gilding, said the current scheme in NSW is the only one in Australia and the only one of its kind in the world, as it allows householders to trade the pollution emissions they save.

"Easy Being Green is accredited to trade carbon credits on to energy companies to assist them in meeting mandatory emission targets set by the NSW greenhouse gas Abatement Scheme. In order to meet their targets, energy companies can purchase carbon credits from accredited providers like Easy Being Green," Gilding said.

Gilding, former Executive Director of Greenpeace International, said a critical part of the bargain is installation.

"By installing the Pack, residents can reduce greenhouse pollution, which is the leading cause of global warming and climate change. But before receiving the pack free of charge, each householder must sign a form pledging to install the light globes. This then gives Easy Being Green the right to trade the value of the energy they save by installing these light globes," he said.

"Everybody wins with installation: the householder saves money by reducing their power bills, the environment benefits and Easy Being Green trades its carbon certificates, which helps to promote reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Because of our commitment, we survey customers to monitor installation in order to resolve any problems they might have.

"So far, Easy Being Green has given away over 210,00() packs. Our goal is to see that one million householders in NSW install the packs before 2007 and that 70 percent of Australian homes reduce energy and water use by 30 percent in 10 years;" Gilding said.

Easy Being Green's Climate Saver packs are just one way householders can reduce their impact on the environment.

"We are also offering residents the chance to sign up to Green Power, which provides electricity from renewable energy sources, rather than coal-fired power plants," Gilding said.

Easy Being Green, in partnership with leading integrated energy business and Green Power retailer, TRUenergy, is helping householders double their options to tackle climate change.

When signing up to receive a Climate Saver Pack, recipients can opt to receive further information about TRUenergy's government accredited green energy products, including TRUenergy Wind - a 100 percent wind power energy plan.

Look out for your Climate Saver Pack in your letterbox, for more information log onto

Minister no Friend of Future Generations

The Mirror
Wednesday 6/9/2006, Page: 6

MEMBERS of the community climate change action group Friends of Future Generations are calling on the Federal Government to consider wind energy for the sake of the environment.

Representatives of the group recently returned from a meeting in Canberra with the Federal Environment Minister, Senator lan Campbell, angry at the government's rejection of wind energy.

"Our group is made up of everyday people who want to see positive environmental choices being made now, for the sake of future generations of Australians," said Yvonne Wenham from Friends of Future Generations, South Australia.

"Australia is the highest polluting nation in the world, per head of population, bar none. That is a disgraceful situation which can't be allowed to continue. We must take action to cut our pollution levels now and wind energy is one of the few ways we can do that.

"The Minister confirmed that his government has no interest in extending the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) scheme, or carbon trading and that effectively means the end of wind energy in Australia.

"The Minister boasts about how many wind farms he has approved in the last couple of weeks but without market mechanisms we all know they will not go ahead."

Ms Wenham claimed the wind energy industry was being strangled by delays.

"The Environment Minister is using any number of delaying tactics to slowly strangle the wind energy industry, from false fears about the Orange-bellied Parrot to dubious claims about anti-wind farm concern," she said.

"The government is focusing its attention solely on so-called clean coal and nuclear power. Those technologies are 15 years away at best and their costs are uncertain."

Ms Wenham said that the only time the Minister mentioned wind energy was when he was siding with anti-wind activists.

It appears to us Minister Campbell is using wind farm opponents' claims to promote and justify the government's inaction," she said.

Blair Donaldson of Foster, a member of the local branch of Friends of Future Generations, said he was disappointed that Senator Campbell did not appear to want to listen to alternative points of view.

He said that he and other members of Friends of Future Generations would have appreciated the opportunity to make their support for wind farms known when the Minister visited Foster North recently, but the Minister appeared willing to meet only those people who opposed the construction of Dollar Wind Farm.

Mr Donaldson said he was also disappointed that the Shire of South Gippsland was taking such a partisan approach to the wind farm issue. "Council has been one-sided from the start, but it should be representing the views of all ratepayers, not a sectional interest," he said.

Ms Wenham said that Senator Campbell had refused to meet with Friends of Future Generations in Canberra if there was a pro-wind community member from South Gippsland or Denmark, Western Australia [another area earmarked for wind farms] amongst the deputation.

"Frankly, we expect more from our elected representatives," she said.

"We originally sought this [Canberra] meeting with the Environment Minister last December because he seemed to be unaware that Australians want to see action not just words - on tackling climate change."

Survey plays down heritage

Hepburn Shire Advocate
Wednesday 6/9/2006, Page: 8

A SURVEY has found Leonards Hill is not of historical significance for Aboriginal settlement, reaffirming the HREA's plan for a community owned wind farm.

Following the archaeological survey, the Hepburn Renewable Energy Association has welcomed the news as part of its planning application compiled by Future Energy.

HREA president Per Bernard said there were many tests and studies that needed to be done to make sure Leonards Hill was the right location for the community wind park.

David Shapero of Future Energy said state planning regulations had strict guidelines for the placement and impact of wind farms. To date we have completed five major studies that are required for the planning permit," he said.

We've made sure we use the best consultants available. For instance we were able to get Ballarat University to do the fauna assessment for the site."

Leonards Full is Wurrundjeri land but was never a permanent settlement.

With only a few studies remaining the association is hopeful that its proposal will prove a viable option for the community. HREA recognised that climate change was a big issue and it would make sure that the community wind farm was the right solution for the community.

All studies undertaken will be available soon by visiting

Windfarm debate causes a storm

Albany Advertiser
Thursday 7/9/2006, Page: 4

FEDERAL Environment Minister Ian Campbell has invited key stakeholders in the Great Southern windfarm debate to a round table discussion in Canberra.

However, an invite has not been extended to Denmark windfarm proponents, Denmark Community Windfamrm.

Windfarm opponents, South Coast Landscape Guardians, has been invited to send a representative to the meeting and Denmark Shire Council and Albany City Council have also received invitations to send a representative.

"We've had no official advice let alone an invitation, which seems fairly typical, he (Campbell) doesn't want to know what we're on about, he wants to know what the critics are on about, he's never wanted to make any contact with us," DCW chairperson Craig Chapelle said.

A spokeswoman from Senator Campbell's office said the Minister tried hard to ensure there was a fair representation at the meeting. "A number of wind energy groups have been invited, including BCSE and Auswind, who will play an important role in the meeting," she said.

"These organisations will represent the views of wind energy developers. "The round table will include groups from across Australia, broadly representing the various stakeholders and all State and Territory ministers have been invited to attend," the spokeswoman said.

Mr Chapelle said he was not convinced the representation is balanced. "If BCSE and Auswind are invited, well they're not experts in our project," he said. "He (Campbell) is not really interested in hearing from the people who support the project," he said.

Peter Mortimer from the SCLG said he asked Mr Campbell's office if the DCW would be attending the meeting. However, he was told it would be impractical to invite all windfarm proponents.

"There are a lot more proponents for windfarms in Australia than community groups against," Mr Mortimer said. "It would make it a massive logistical problem to invite all the proponents.

"A group called Auswind has been invited and it will put forward the argument for proponents of windfarms but because there isn't one big group representing community opponents of windfarms there will be a number of different groups," he said.

Mr Mortimer will be flying to Canberra on Sunday for the meeting which will be held on Monday, September 11. "It could be pretty important," said Mr Mortimer.

"It might set in place some protocol about where you put facilities, so that the people most affected by them have some input," he said. "There is a need for this round table to help empower local communities."

We'll go like the wind: B&BW

The Age
Friday 8/9/2006 Page: 4

WIND farm operator Babcock & Brown Wind Partners (BBW) has increased its distribution guidance for this year and says the market for wind energy remains robust.

BBW, floated by investment bank Babcock & Brown last October, reported a net loss of $16.24 million for 2005-06.

But BBW chief executive Peter O'connell said the renewable energy investor had begun the new financial year in a strong position. "The 2007 financial year will be a year in which security holders will benefit from BBW's acquisition program and diversification strategy," Mr O'connell said.

"The directors have upgraded the distribution guidance for fiscal year 2007 from 11.2 per stapled security to 12.5¢ per stapled security."

He said the company wanted at least 3.5 per cent compound annual growth in distributions in the medium term.

Revenue for the financial year was $73 million, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation reached $51.8 million. Both were below BBW's forecast by $4 million and $5.7 million respectively, due to one-off items including delays in the acquisition of three wind farms in Spain.

BBW has increased its portfolio from four wind farms at the time of its initial public offering to 19, spreading across Australia, Europe and the US. Together they produce about 1360 gigawatt hours a year.

Mr O'Connell said the investment rationale for wind energy continued to improve as world demand for electricity increased, concerns about global warming deepened, and the source of clean energy became more costcompetitive against fossil fuels.

"We enter a market with a more mature and diverse portfolio, and with a balance sheet which is undergeared, and we face a market here wind energy drives remain robust," he said. In Australia, Mr O'connell said wind development would be limited unless it received more government support.

BBW declared a final distribution of 5.1 per stapled security, bringing the total distribution for the year to 1O.2¢. Its stapled securities closed up 7¢, or 5 per cent, to $1.46.

Green energy market 'robust'

Adelaide Advertiser
Friday 8/9/2006, Page: 69

WIND farm operator Babcock & Brown Wind Partners Group bumped up its distribution guidance for this year saying the market for wind energy remains robust.

BBW - spun off and floated by investment group Babcock & Brown last October yesterday reported a net loss of $16.24 million for 2005-06. But BBW chief executive Peter O'Connell said the renewable energy investor had begun the new financial year in a strong position.

"The 2007 financial year will be a year in which security holders will benefit from BBW's acquisition program and diversification strategy," Mr O'Connell said. "In recognition of the accretive acquisitions made during the year, the directors have upgraded the distribution guidance for fiscal 2007 from 11.2c per stapled security to 12.5c."

BBW has wind farms at Lake Bonney in the Riverland. Mr O'Connell said in the medium term, the company was also targeting at least 3.5 per cent compound annual growth in distributions.

Revenue for the year was $73 million while EBITA earnings reached $51.8 million. BBW declared a final distribution of 5.1c per security, taking the total distribution for the year to 10.2c. Its stapled securities closed up 7c to $1.46.

Tuesday 5 September 2006

Getting behind wind

Herald Sun
05/09/2006, Page: 34

WIND power generator Wind Hydrogen will seek to raise $5.4 million in capital to develop its wind farm portfolio ahead of floating on the Australian Stock Exchange.

The renewable energy company said it would issue 12 million shares at 45 cents a share in a capital raising due to take place this month.

The funds will partly be used for pre-construction work at wind farm projects awaiting approval, as well as to prepare submissions for more advanced projects, and secure rights for projects in the pipeline.

Wind forum a success

Summit Sun
31/08/2006 Page: 16

LISTENING to people lecture on a certain topic for four hours straight without a break on a Friday night would try most people's patience.

Many people who experienced that situation would come close to falling asleep after a certain period while others after a while would lose concentration and think about something else completely different.

But none of the 250 people who attended the Cooma-Monaro Shire Council's 'Should Monaro have windfarms?' forum last Friday night at the Cooma Ex-Services Club seemed to experience the above symptoms after enthusiastically listening to four hours worth of windfarm lectures without an interim.

Cooma-Monaro Shire mayor Roger Norton labelled the forum a success and believed it achieved its desired purpose, despite still being impartial on the windfarm issue himself.

"It was a success because people went away from the forum better informed on the issue and hopefully now we can use this to move forward," Cr Norton said.

"It was a little long, but its such a complex subject that needed sufficient time to be explained properly." "You could not have given the speaker 10 minutes each because they would not have been able to explain it fully and wouldn't have done the forum any justice."

Cr Norton was particularly impressed with the way everyone at the forum conducted themselves while talking and listening about the contentious issue.

Despite the forum's own question not being answered on the night, as expected before the event, there was a wide range of views expressed about windfarms by both the speakers and the large audience in attendance at the much anticipated event.

But aside from the forum question not being answered, everyone in attendance did agree by general consensus that green house emissions needed to be reduced in Australia to combat the global problem of climate change.

Woodlawn windfarm on hold

Goulburn Post
01/09/2006 Page: 5

AS the Woodlawn bioreactor celebrates its second birthday, the owners, Veolia Environmental Services have confirmed the proposed 50MW windfarm approved for the site, is on hold.

Veolia's Shaun Rainford said the windfarm project, just one of a number of initiatives the company has for the Tarago property, would remain in the planning stage until renewable power prices were sufficient to make the larger project viable.

However, Mr Rainford said his company was working with the electrical engineering company, Jones and Rickard Pty Ltd, which has developed a new brushless twin-stator induction wind turbine machine.

"That company is working with the University of Technology, Sydney to develop the technology, and approached Collex requesting the use of the Woodlawn site to field test a single 250kW prototype wind turbine, with their new type of generator inside," he said.

"To test the new turbine, they require a windy site that can be connected to the electricity network." It will look like a normal wind turbine, have a 31 metre high tower with 14m long blades and is to be installed near the former evaporation dams for at least 12 to 18 months," he said.

"A DA for the proposed single turbine will he lodged soon with Goulburn Mulwaree Council. If approved, the turbine would be installed late in 2006 or early 2007. The single prototype turbine will he on a different part of the Woodlawn site and will not overlap in any way with the main windfarm project."