This article appeared in the Melton Leader, journalist: Ami Humpage.
Sticking to master Moorabool wind farm plan
LAL Lal’s proposed 64-turbine wind farm will proceed unchanged after an amendment application was rejected by the State Government.
The original planning permit for the WestWind Energy wind farm, located across two sites at Yendon and Elaine, was approved in April 2009.
But after advancements in technology, an amendment to increase the size of the wind turbines from 130m to 150m in a bid to increase output was submitted by the company in January.
WestWind managing director Tobi Geiger said he was disappointed with Planning Minister Matthew Guy’s decision.
“The proposal to increase the output of the wind farm by over 50 per cent without adding any more turbines could have been achieved simply by increasing the overall tip height by 20m and removing the rotor diameter restriction,” he said.
Mr Geiger said the application for the proposed change was made well before the latest policy changes in wind energy were introduced.
“The minister’s delegated decision is purely political,” he said.
“No open or transparent assessment took place that involved public notice or a planning panel.”
Mr Geiger said that despite the minister’s refusal, the project would go ahead as planned.
Moorabool Mayor Pat Griffin said while he welcomed the government’s decision, he was not happy the project would still go ahead.