Today’s good news. Mt Gellibrand is just northeast of Colac. The following quote is from today’s Age article Wind farm to be built near Colac by Adam Morton. Following that is the text of the press release from developer Acciona.
Acciona Energy director of generation Brett Wickham said the farm would create about 200 jobs during construction and 16 ongoing positions once it was operating.
He said up to 10 of the 149-metre turbines would be built within two kilometres of homes and could have been affected if the plant had been proposed under the new planning regime.
“The project would have been less viable because these projects are marginal and essentially we could have less turbines to pay off what is a significant investment in [power] grid connection and other things,” Mr Wickham said.
Victoria has about 400 wind turbines, with another 1100 at various stages of development.
Randall Bell, president of wind farm opponents the Victorian Landscape Guardians, said there was a local community group opposed to most plants proposed in Victoria, but not at Mount Gellibrand.
“As far as I know there was effectively no local community as we would normally see it,” he said.
Mr Wickham said Acciona was yet to decide whether it would go ahead with three other wind farm proposals — at Newfield, Berrimal and Mortlake South — granted planning permits under the previous Labor government.
He said the changes to planning laws, which include a ban on wind farms at tourist sites such as the Macedon Ranges and the Great Ocean Road, meant it was “probably more beneficial for us to be looking in other states” for future projects.
Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm Receives Final Approval
Media release, 24-1-2012, Acciona Energy
Today, ACCIONA announced the Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm in south west Victoria has received final approval from the Victorian government.
Brett Wickham, ACCIONA Energy’s Director Generation, said, “We are very pleased to announce that ACCIONA’s Development Plan for the Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm has been endorsed by the Department of Planning and Community Development enabling the project to now proceed to construction.”
A planning permit was granted by the Minister for Planning in 2006 following assessment by an independent panel for the wind farm at a site 25 kilometres east of Colac.
“This final approval enables ACCIONA to proceed to construction of the Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm.
“The Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm will bring significant economic activity and benefits to the Colac region as well as providing a new source of clean, renewable energy.”
The Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm will have the capacity to produce 189 megawatts of clean, renewable energy each year and is expected to meet the energy needs of approximately 88,000 Victorian households annually.
Construction of the project will commence by 15 March, 2012; the full construction timeline for completion has not yet been determined.
ACCIONA Energy is committed to engaging with the landowners, neighbours and the broader community to build effective relationships and ensure the success of the Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm.
ACCIONA Energy operates the Waubra Wind Farm in Victoria and the Gunning Wind Farm in New South Wales, and is a joint venture partner for the Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm in South Australia.