community-owned wind farm in Macedon Ranges?

An article from the Macedon Ranges Leader.

WHILE largescale wind farm projects have drawn opposition from many residents, two Macedon Ranges’ townships are flying the flag for the technology.

Both Woodend and Riddells Creek have sustainability groups investigating the feasibility of community-owned wind farms.

Both hope to follow the footsteps of the $12.9 million Hepburn Community Wind Farm project, where construction began last month.

That project attracted $1.7 million in state funding and $3.1 million of financing from the Adelaide and Bendigo Banks, while hundreds of residents invested in the project.

The two-turbine 4-megawatt project is set to power 2300 households, almost all of them in Daylesford and Hepburn Springs.

Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group president Peter Hansford said he believed an appropriate site on Crown land outside of Woodend could power the township.

“We are hoping to nail down access to the site after the state election, where we could do some more extensive testing,” he said.

He said at least another year of testing would be needed, while the more complex issue might be how the project would be paid for.

“The big question for us is what will be the financial model given the same level of community investment or government support may not be available to us as Hepburn,” Mr Hansford said.

But Mr Hansford has no doubt the technology could provide clean power for the Macedon Ranges. “Two turbines here would power Macedon, Mt Macedon and Woodend which is about 2500 homes – so eight in the right places could power the whole shire.”

The Riddells Creek Sustainability Group has also started investigating starting a community wind farm project. More than 80 households have subscribed to a solar project by that group.

From:  Macedon Ranges Leader newspaper, 23/11/10
Journalist: Barry Kennedy

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