Impact on Landscape and Australia / New Zealand
It will soon be easier for rural property buyers to find out if a wind farm is planned for next door.
The Victorian Government this week agreed to let buyers know where they can get information on current wind farm proposals.
Until now, prospective buyers were in the dark over how to get the information. ...The move followed calls by Nationals MP Peter Hall for more transparency on wind-farm proposals.
Mr. Hall said property buyers had little hope of finding information about new wind farms, dozens of which are proposed for Victoria.
Some will tilt at them, but it would seem a pointless exercise: a surge in windmill construction is set to recast the Victorian landscape.
Two needs - offsetting the state's electricity-hungry new desalination plant and meeting an incoming national renewable energy target - are to trigger a huge expansion of wind power across the state.
Emeritus professor Alan Mark, of Dunedin, gave evidence about the hurdles of revegetating native snow tussock at an Environment Court appeal hearing for the Project Hayes development yesterday.
Prof Mark said trials of revegetation on site had so far produced less than satisfactory results, and he was concerned about whether it was possible to appropriately rehabilitate areas damaged during a five-year construction of the wind farm.
The Adelaide environmental court has ruled in favour of AGL's Hallett 3 wind farm project at Mt Bryan.
The landmark judgment that could set the precedent for community litigation against wind farm developments in South Australia has been hailed by developers and disappointed anti-wind farm campaigners.
In evidence to the Central Otago District Council last year Meridian acknowledged the turbines each of which will have a rotor roughly the size of a Boeing 747 would have an adverse visual impact on the nearby Paerau Valley. But it produced photographic mock-ups suggesting that from other vantage points the mountain block on which they would be arrayed would remain the dominant visual feature.
However, Sydney says the windfarm will "industrialise" the landscape for vast distances. "What happens when you put that number of wind turbines of that size in the landscape is that they actually become the landscape. You don't see anything else really."
An Allendale East dairy farmer says he is not prepared to pull his blinds down to keep flashing lights out at night, nor will he put up with the endless noise of humming wind turbines if the proposed Allendale Wind Farm goes ahead on his doorstep.
Richard Paltridge told The Border Watch he strongly objects to the multi-million dollar green power project with 49 turbines, which is currently awaiting approval before construction can start next year.
"I love this area, it's beautiful and I don't want the scenery spoiled by high towers when I am going to have 13 turbines within close view," he said.
Families around Myponga and Sellicks Hill on the Fleurieu Peninsula are fighting the State Government, local council, and an international electricity generator to preserve their region.
Yet the power company which residents say is threatening their tranquillity advertises itself as green, friendly and environment-conscious.
TrustPower is a New Zealand generator which wants to build a wind farm on the hills behind Mt Terrible and around Heatherdale Hill close to Myponga, on two ridgelines some 8km long.
Shocked Dunedin councillors were forced yesterday to come to terms with the wideranging effects Meridian Energy’s Project Hayes wind farm could have on the city.
A council committee has moved to oppose the wind farm, after discovering it could have “significant” adverse effects on Dunedin, even though the development will be built outside the city boundaries and the council has limited power to affect it.
Some councillors were angry they had only recently heard details of the effects. These include Meridian’s expectations of a total of 76,900 vehicle movements, and the possibility of trucks weighing up to 125 tonnes and as long as 60m, rumbling down Riccarton Rd in Mosgiel, Mountfort St in Outram, and the Old Dunstan Rd.
The wind farm was also expected to have adverse effects on the character and amenity of rural-zoned land, significant outstanding landscape, and fire safety, a report by council resource consent manager Alan Worthington said.
The south-west WA group opposed to the Denmark community wind farm doubts its proponents will be able to raise enough money to build it.
The wind farm committee says the project, near Ocean Beach, could supply up to 60 per cent of Denmark’s power, but opponents argue it will be a blight on a scenic coastal landscape.
The final feasibility study on the wind farm concluded the project will cost $2.6 million, and the committee hopes half that will come from Federal Government grants, despite Environment Minister Ian Campbell’s criticisms of the project.
Peter Mortimer from the South Coast Landscape Guardians says the wind farm would have more support if it was in a less sensitive location.
Opponents of the Flat Rocks wind farm have been joined by Williams and McAlinden landholders, where new wind farms have been proposed, in voicing their fears about wind turbine syndrome, the name given to the adverse health effects believed to be caused by both audible and low frequency soundwaves.
Unison, with Tasmanian-based firm Roaring 40s, was given resource consent by the Hastings District Council's hearings committee for 16 turbines in August last year - a decision which was almost immediately appealed by Hawke's Bay historian Patrick Parsons' Outstanding Natural Landscapes Protection Society.
A landscape architect says 37 wind turbines proposed for Te Waka Range in Hawke's Bay, would have a major adverse effect on the environment.
Artist Grahame Sydney has defaced prints of one of his most famous paintings and is selling them to raise money to fund protest group Save Central's fight against wind-farm development in Central Otago.
Sydney, a strong opponent of wind farms being built in Central Otago, is president of the Save Central group.
The 760mm by 1520mm defaced prints of Timeless Land had turbines painted in blood red, graffiti-style, across the landscape to emphasise the viciousness of wind-farm proposals, Sydney said.
Fourteen turbines were struck off as they would have marred the view from Mawallok, a historic homestead with gardens crafted by 19th-century landscaper William Guilfoyle.
This is the first instance of wind turbines being rejected due to their impact on the outlook from a heritage property.