‘Minister Guy rejects additional clean energy’

Media Release: 8 November 2011:
Minister Guy rejects additional clean energy

Victorian-based wind energy company, WestWind Energy (WestWind) is disappointed that plans to increase the output of the Lal Lal Wind Farm have been rejected by the Government.

WestWind’s proposal to increase the output of the wind farm by over fifty percent without adding any turbines could have been achieved simply by increasing the overall tip-height by twenty metres and removing the rotor diameter restriction.

The Minister’s Department, under Minister Guy’s direction, refused the proposed change for which an application was submitted in January this year. This was well before the latest policy changes on wind energy were introduced.

Tobi Geiger, Managing Director, WestWind, said that, “The Minister’s delegated decision is purely political. No open and transparent assessment took place that involved public notice or a planning panel. A great opportunity to produce more renewable energy more cost effectively has been squandered”

“It is clear that this Government sees coal as the future of Victoria’s electricity supply, as the decision is consistent with the recent Woodend community wind farm debacle, the solar tariff slashing and plans to expand coal mining in the region.” Mr Geiger said.

The project’s original planning permit is not affected by this refusal and the project will go ahead as planned.

6 thoughts on “‘Minister Guy rejects additional clean energy’

  1. On what grounds was the proposed amendment rejected by the planning minister? It seems ludicrous. The visual impact is not changed significantly, by the higher turbines at all, in my opinion, the main impact being the turbines themselves in the first place, which have got a permit. West Wind should challenge the planning minister by objecting to this outcome, if possible! I hope they will! Why is this govt. undermining the wind industry so much? There must be a lot at stake in the coal industry, especially with all the toxic and utterly wrong coal seam gas mining plans being rolled out everywhere. I can’t believe this is happening!

  2. The proposal was rejected on the grounds that it would have an unacceptable visual impact, even though external assessment of the concept (and Matthew Guy) agreed with the proponent that the proposal indicated a negligible increase in the visual impact of the wind turbines.
    This isn’t coming from the Minister. It’s coming from Faillieu.

  3. We all know about the double standard that the state government has put in place over wind energy (eg one household can stop turbines being built within 2 km of their home but 2,000 people living withing 2km of the Anglesea coal mine can’t stop the mine expanding for another 50 years).

    This has not gone down well with any of the many hundreds of people I have spoken with lately who are concerned about new coal mining or CSG operations.

    So it’s doubly interesting to hear that the Planning Minister had this to say about wind energy and permits the other day in Parliament:

    “You cannot have one rule for wind turbine applicants and another rule for everyone else.”

    For once I find myself in raging agreement with the minister!

  4. From Greg Barber’s link to Matthew Guy’s answer:
    Guy: “You cannot have one rule for wind turbine applicants and another rule for everyone else”
    — which is exactly what he has done! The planning laws VC82 for wind farms bear no resemblance to normal planning laws for any other kind of development.

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