The O'Farrell government on Wednesday removed the "critical infrastructure" status for wind farms created by the former Labor government, restoring the community's rights to appeal against decisions made by the independent Planning Assessment Commission. "We changed Labor's rotten laws in 2011 ensuring major projects like wind farms would be considered in an open and transparent process," Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard said.
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The commission ignored the guidelines’ provision that turbines should not be located within two kilometres of homes in its approval for the 42-turbine project planned for Blayney, south of Orange. “The Commission notes that NSW has not finalised its draft guidelines from 2011 and understands that the draft did not prohibit turbines being constructed within two kilometres of a dwelling,” the PAC said.
The State Department of Planning and Infrastructure says wind turbines at the Gullen Range wind farm are not being built to plan. Many of the 73 turbines have been built at locations up to 187 metres away from those originally planned and authorised.
The company behind a 73-turbine wind farm currently under construction at Gullen Range near Crookwell has been rebuked by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure for building turbines in unauthorised locations and as far as 187 metres away from the approved sites.
A $1.5 billion wind farm south-west of Ardrossan on Yorke Peninsula in South Australia has been approved. ...The Heartland Farmers group says the wind farm will hurt agricultural land particularly given the area is more densely populated than other wind farm sites. Its Chairperson Naomi Bittner says it's not satisfied the project meets planning guidelines and is surprised it's been approved.
The first Mt Mercer Wind Farm turbine only began generating power last November 19. Two months later, 15 of its planned 64 turbines are up and running – and residents who live close by are cautiously awaiting the wind farm hitting full capacity.
Meanwhile, a purpose- built, gas-fired power station, designed to step in during peak demand is running at full capacity, according to operator Origin Energy. The region’s wind farms have been unable to alleviate demand pressures. A spokeswoman for AGL said the company’s 140 turbine Macarthur wind farm had limited output because of weather conditions.
The winds of change have blown through plans for a wind farm at Palmer, as dozens of proposed turbines have been moved and a planning application pushed back to February in response to community feedback.
The Department of Planning’s decision to recommend the approval of a 43-turbine wind farm at Flyers Creek, 20 kilometres south of Orange, has ended years of uncertainty for the group opposing the $195 million development.
Academic discussion continues as to whether a fleet of grid-connected wind farms, widely dispersed across a single grid network, can provide a reliable electricity supply. One opinion is that wide geographical dispersion of wind farms provides sufficient smoothing of the intermittent and highly variable output of individual wind farms enabling the wind farm fleet to provide for base load demand. In an examination of the 5-minute time-averaged wind farm operational data for 21 large wind farms connected to the eastern Australian grid - geographically the largest, most widely dispersed, single interconnected grid in the world (AER, ) - this paper challenges that opinion. The conclusion of this paper is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of this page.