Blayney: new wind farm proposed, local co-op to buy one turbine

Blayney, in the central western region of NSW, has been home to a wind farm since 2000, when the Blayney wind farm opened at Lake Carcoar, at the time being the largest wind farm in Australia. The 15 turbines have a rating of 9.9 MW in total.

Blayney wind farm by Dave Bassett
Photo of part of Blayney Wind Farm by Dave Bassett, from Wind in the Bush website.

Wind farm developer Infigen is proposing a new wind farm for Blayney, with 40 larger, modern turbines. A co-operative has been formed to buy one of the turbines for the local community. The Central Western Daily has run several articles, highlighting the views of local opponents, the outcomes of a public meeting called by Blayney Shire Council, and the views of supporters.

Here is some information from the latter article, Case for wind farm: clean energy in our own backyard (Erin Somerville, Central Western Daily, 5 December 2011):

(NB: after checking with infigen we have corrected one presumably accidental error in the article. A single turbine would power around 1000 homes, not 100 as stated.)

SIMON Wright is looking forward to seeing the proposed 40 wind turbines at Flyers Creek up and running.

After all, he will be one of hundreds of residents who will be able to call one of the turbines his own.

Mr Wright has joined the Flyers Creek Co-operative committee that is looking to encourage people to pitch in funding to buy a wind turbine.

One turbine will cost around $5-6 million to construct, with participants expected to reap the financial benefits when its power is eventually sold into the grid.

The co-op’s proposed turbine is expected to generate enough energy to power [1000] homes.

Mr Wright, who lives in Orange, said he supported the Flyers Creek initiative for a number of reasons.

“I am very keen to support any moves we have towards clean energy,” he said.

“It’s a project in our own backyard.”

Members of the co-op have a choice of contributing a minimum of $500 to $1000 for a wind turbine.

Infigen Energy has confirmed it would contribute an amount of money to help the co-op buy a turbine if they fell short of their financial goal.

Mr Wright said he was aware of and respected the concerns of many residents living near the site but didn’t agree with their views.

“I want a cleaner future for my kids and future generations,” he said.

“It’s a great local resource we have, and it’s better than having a coal plant next door.”

The co-operative’s communications committee addressed Bathurst residents on Tuesday night to encourage them to join the co-op.

While Blayney mayor Bruce Kingham will not reveal his opinion on the Flyers Creek wind farm proposal, he indicated that he did not have a concern with the initiative.

“In the 11 years since the [Blayney] wind farm, we have had not one complaint,” he said.

The Blayney wind farm was constructed in 2000 for $18 million.

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