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Australia's first-ever wind farm commissioner experienced his first grilling by a Senate committee on Monday, with his $205,000 annual salary for three years confirmed by the environment department. Mr Dyer's aim is to improve complaint handling by state regulators and other stakeholders to a level that renders his role futile.
“If wind farms are all they’re cracked up to be, SA power prices would be half what they are and the state would be making a fortune exporting electricity to the other states,” he said. “But it isn’t, wind turbine owners might be making a fortune but wind power is costing SA families a fortune. It is a con.”
A proposal for a wind farm at Palmer, in South Australia's Mid-Murray region, has been revised from 130 turbines to 114.
“Many times other supply will kick in and there’s always stuff on standby, but in this case it may well have been the size of the load.” When the Victorian system shut down, 160 megawatts of energy was lost and wind power did not supply energy because it often does not start until 3am.
The Department said it had reviewed the EIS and found that it had not adequately assessed the visual and noise impacts of the project, as required by government guidelines; not undertaken sufficient consultation with local residents about measures to reduce impacts of the wind farm, particularly in regard to visual impacts; and not fully considered the compatibility of the project with local planning controls and the emerging rural-residential nature of the area.
Despite reassuring noises about large-scale renewable energy coming out of the new-look federal Coalition, and an increasing number of sympathetic state governments, the Australian wind industry is far from out of the woods.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has appointed Australia’s first Wind Farm Commissioner to deal with complaints about wind farms, in a move which seems to have pleased few people.
The Environment Department has now asked until December additional information it sought about plants and animals on the Tablelands' site.
Australia's first wind farm commissioner has been appointed by the Turnbull government, with the former chairman of the telecommunications watchdog, Andrew Dyer, to take the role for three years. Mr Dyer's appointment comes as the government also established a scientific panel to "provide advice on the science and monitoring of potential impacts of wind turbine sound on health and the environment".
Trustpower employees closed the meeting two hours early, after one resident allegedly stole a Trustpower USB stick and made violent threats after being restrained from entering the building. The Bookham resident, Mr Mark Glover, told the Tribune that the incident occurred when he accused Trustpower of lying to his neighbours. “I did accuse them of lying because he was saying the community supported the proposal,” Mr Glover said.
The renewable energy industry is celebrating the ascension of Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister on hopes that he may lead the Coalition towards policies more supportive of the sector. ...However, Mr Turnbull's early statements have been in favour of retaining the Government's current climate change policies.
Lawyers for Dr Laurie have threatened action against wind industry employees Ken McAlpine, formerly from Vestas, Ketan Joshi from Infigen and Fairfax Media over a tweet first posted by Mr McAlpine in March last year. Professor Chapman, who is not a medical practitioner, repeated the tweet,
The new offer of cash grants to landowners within two kilometres of a turbine (but not hosting them) was in response to an issue raised consistently during consultation – that only host landowners were paid. The grant to neighbours was considered "a more fair arrangement", Mr Van Zyl said. The money would come from a proposed community benefit fund, which Trustpower was proposing to split, half for community grants and half for the neighbour cash payments.
Three landowners who no longer want wind turbines on their properties will be excluded from the Flyers Creek wind farm project if a modified proposal is accepted. Infigen Energy is about to lodge an application with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment to reduce the 42-turbine proposal between Orange and Blayney by five turbines.
The Abbott government should draw up national rules restricting how wind farms are built and operated and punish states that do not accept them, a Senate committee has urged. In its final report published on Monday evening, the committee puts forward a range a measures to curb wind farms, including recommendations to reduce support for projects under the national renewable energy target.
“The truly bizarre decision ... constitutes a massive absolutely massive hit on consumers and on jobs because to move to 50 per cent renewables by 2030 will mean a massive bill, perhaps $60 billion or more, that will have to be carried by the consumers of Australia,” he said.
South Australian grazier Clive Gare, with 19 turbines on his property giving a million dollar income across five years, told the Senate inquiry the noise has been unbearable. He was initially excited about hosting renewable energy, but now believed "towers should not be any closer than 5 kilometres to a dwelling".
A $450 million deal to build Australia's third-largest wind farm marks the "first green shoots" of a revival in the clean energy industry after this week's passage in the Senate of a reduced renewable energy target (RET).
There are concerns the Federal Government will introduced new rules with its RET to reflect Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s personal dislike of turbines. ...One trade-off in talks with crossbenchers has been the appointment of a wind farm commissioner and an ombudsman to investigate wind farms’ possible impacts on health.
Wind farm permit work costs Moyne Shire Council 15 times more than it receives in application fees paid by energy companies, a Senate committee heard yesterday. State standard fees for major projects set a $16,130 maximum that councils can charge a proponent, yet Moyne has calculated the full costs are closer to $250,000.