Waubra locals set record straight on wind farm

WIND1_STORY_-_DEEP_HORIZONTAL_WIDE_F11671310_989459Those 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”

National lab reiterates: Wind power doesn’t affect property values

Published by American Wind Association. View original article.

WindFarmIn 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”

Successful BEAM, Y2R partnership in Central Victoria

On August 17, Leigh Ewbank of Yes 2 Renewables was 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.

Yes 2 Renewables joined dedicated BEAM members organising distribution of a wind energy fact sheet.

Late last year, Yes 2 Renewables and the BEAM-Mitchell Environment Group partnered up to fight back against an anti-wind farm scare campaign. Out-going vice president of BEAM, Peter Lockyer, had the following to say about the partnership: Continue reading “Successful BEAM, Y2R partnership in Central Victoria”

Pollie Watch: Unauthorised use of wind farm photo in Liberal Party pamphlet

This photograph was used in a SA Liberal Party pamphlet without permission.

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).

The use of this image, without asking me for permission, is quite unethical; but to use it dishonestly and misleadingly and claim it shows a wind turbine close to a house when this is quite false, compounds the abuse. Continue reading “Pollie Watch: Unauthorised use of wind farm photo in Liberal Party pamphlet”

Bursting the bubble of anti-wind astroturfers

First published on Climate Spectator by Ketan Joshi, 4/06/2013.

wind spill lolzWhen it comes to criticising wind energy, you don’t need to exert yourself too hard to pass off opinion as a hard-earned scientific truth. There’s a good chance your claims will go happily unchecked and gloriously unchallenged. Just relax, and let your creative juices flow.

Continue reading “Bursting the bubble of anti-wind astroturfers”

Ill wind: The real cost of pseudo-scientific scaremongering

First published on Renew Economy by Ketan Joshi, 20/06/2013.

wind farm cartoonOn 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.

As Miller gazed on the chaos resulting from what came to be known as the ‘Great Disappointment’, he was probably thinking deeply about the problems with prophecy. Namely, that he had chosen to predict something entirely out of his control. If Miller wanted advice on daunting foreshadowing, he may have benefited from the tactics deployed by Australia’s anti-wind lobby. Continue reading “Ill wind: The real cost of pseudo-scientific scaremongering”

Macarthur residents urge Tehan to support local wind boom

Published at VicWind. See original article.

TehanMeetingGroup_blogMacarthur 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.

Research by Sinclair Knight Merz estimates the Macarthur and nearby Oaklands wind farm projects have increased Gross Regional Product by over 1 percent or $66.8m per year. Wind projects with permits to proceed in Wannon would deliver around four times this amount again. Continue reading “Macarthur residents urge Tehan to support local wind boom”

Farmers’ dreams realised at Macarthur

Published by the VicWind Alliance. View the original article.

Andrew_Bray_and_Macarthur_wind_farm_land_owner_Tom_RobertsonWhen 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.”

AGL Chief Executive Michael Fraser described the Macarthur wind farm as a “nation-building” project that had the wider support of the surrounding community. Continue reading “Farmers’ dreams realised at Macarthur”

New research busts myth wind farms decrease property prices

69b83550-dc3a-11e0-98bd-005056b06a0e-4812170New research by the Victorian Greens demolishes claims made by anti-wind farm activists that wind farms result in decreased property value.

Anti-wind activists claim wind farms reduce property values. The research conducted by Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber shows, once again, that the claim is not supported by evidence.

The claim that wind farms reduce property prices is a staple of anti-wind groups campaigning against proposed developments.

The analysis conducted by the office of Greg Barber MLC compares median house-price sales for postcodes with wind farms to the average prices of the local government area. It found no relationship between the presence of wind farms and lower property prices. Continue reading “New research busts myth wind farms decrease property prices”

UK’s National Trust Director General says wind farms are ‘beautiful’

‘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.

On person who does view wind turbines as beautiful is Dame Helen Ghosh, the new head of the UK’s National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty. Dame Ghosh told The Telegraph recently that wind farms are ‘rather beautiful’ and will one day be appreciated in the way as historic railways are today.

Here’s the whole story from The Telegraph: Continue reading “UK’s National Trust Director General says wind farms are ‘beautiful’”