Those who have followed the rollout of wind energy in Australia would have heard of the quaint Victorian town of Waubra–the location of one of Australia’s largest wind farms. Producing enough clean electricity for 143,000 households, more than enough to power Ballarat, Waubra’s 128 wind turbines offset a massive 635,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year which would have been generated by burning coal in the LaTrobe Valley.
While the town should be known for its leadership role addressing climate change and repowering Australia with renewable energy, its name has been tarnished by anti-wind farm lobbyists.
In 2010, the Waubra Foundation was formed by Peter Mitchell–a fossil fuel investor and wind farm opponent–and has unleashed a scare campaign about the alleged health risk of wind energy ever since. The organisation coopted the town’s name without consent of it residents. Unfortunately for locals, the town is linked to a so-called wind farm noise disease rather than its strong community and quality produce.
This all could be about the change.
Over a year in the making, independent filmmaker Neil Barrett has interviewed Waubra wind farmers, neighbours and locals to test the prevalence of negative views. Barratt has produced a short film entitled The Way The Wind Blows which counters the myths and gives locals a voice for the first time. The short film is a must view. Continue reading “Waubra locals set record straight on wind farm”
In another major study released today on wind farms and property values, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) analysed more than 50,000 home sales near 67 wind facilities in 27 counties across nine U.S. states, yet was unable to uncover any impacts to nearby home property values.
“This is the second of two major studies we have conducted on this topic [the first was published in 2009 – download the 2009 LBNL Report], and in both studies [using two different datasets] we find no statistical evidence that operating wind turbines have had any measurable impact on home sales prices,” says Ben Hoen, the lead author of the new report. Continue reading “National lab reiterates: Wind power doesn’t affect property values”
On August 17, Leigh Ewbank of Yes 2 Renewableswas a proud guest presenter at the BEAM-Mitchell Environment Group‘s annual general meeting. The event featured presentations on local food and biodiversity links within the shire, and was attended by three local councillors keen to find out more about the group.
The photo above, which I took on 28 June, 2011, has been used by the Liberals in the brochure “Wind farms can generate angst“. The brochure was published by Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, David Ridgway. I have no recollection of ever having been asked for permission for the use of my photo, nor would I ever have given it for the purpose for which the image was used.
The caption under my photo used in the Liberal’s brochure read “Construction of the Snowtown wind farm in South Australia’s mid north dwarfs the house in the foreground, demonstrating how close to residents the Government is willing to build wind turbines. Photograph taken by Dave Clarke, February 19th 2011.” The turbine is about 1.8km from the house, making a lie of the statement in the brochure (need I say that this is not the only lie in the brochure).
First published on Renew Economy by Ketan Joshi, 20/06/2013.
On October 22nd, 1844, a man soared from the roof of a barn, with his eyes squeezed shut. William Miller, a Baptist preacher, had told him that Jesus would be returning to Earth on that specific day, and he leapt from his perch, expecting to be whisked upwards in a rapturous flurry of salvation. Jesus did not return, and the man was not saved.
Macarthur district residents, Merilyn Cook and Hamish Officer, together with representatives from the Victorian Wind Alliance (VicWind), met with local MP, Dan Tehan in Warrnambool on Tuesday to discuss the benefits the Macarthur Wind Farm is bringing to their community.
“There’s a historic opportunity right now to benefit from this shift of power generation from coal and gas regions to wind regions like South West Victoria,” said Mr Bray, VicWind’s State Coordinator.
“With 20 locals permanently employed, the Macarthur wind farm is now the biggest single employer in this rural district.” said Mr Bray.
When the Macarthur wind farm, the southern hemisphere’s largest wind farm, was officially launched on Friday it marked the completion of a remarkable journey for local farmers Tom Robertson and Hamish and Anna Officer.
In 2001 Tom, Hamish and Anna began their search for companies who would build a wind farm to generate clean, renewable energy on their properties, 20km east of Macarthur in South Western Victoria.
In the 12 years since then, with long months of challenging negotiations, a global financial crisis and numerous twists and turns there were several times when all seemed lost. But finally in 2011 luck started running their way and the contract for the project we see today was signed.
As Vestas global Chief Executive Ditlev Engel, who traveled from Copenhagen for the opening, said, quoting Walt Disney, “if you can dream it, do it.”
‘Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.’ – Confucius
Confucius was a man of great wisdom. And when it comes to wind farms, the Chinese philosopher’s thoughts on the nature of beauty are particularly relevant.
On one hand, supporters of renewable energy see modern wind mills as gentle giants that complement the landscape; Kinetic sculptures whose graceful movements produce clean, renewable energy for the community. On the other hand, there are some people who see them as a blight on the landscape. Not everyone sees the beauty in wind mills.