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Major wind farm project causes a stir

In a statement, Independent Senator Nick Xenophon says the project will become a "white elephant that will be embroiled in litigation." Senator Xenophon currently has a Bill before Parliament to introduce national standards on the level of noise created by wind turbines.

Plans for what would become one of the nation's biggest wind farms are now in the hands of the South Australian Government.

Developer REpower has lodged a formal application with the state's Development Assessment Commission to build the 199-turbine project on the state's Yorke Peninsula.

The $1.3 billion wind farm known as the 'Ceres project' was first announced 18 months ago.

If approved, the project would occupy 18,000 hectares near Black Point, about 20 kilometres south-west of Ardrossan on the peninsula's east coast.

The company says the turbines would have a combined maximum output of 600 megawatts, enough to power 225,000 homes, but would probably produce about 40 per cent of that.

Electricity would be fed into the Adelaide grid via underwater cables across Gulf St Vincent.

Project manager Peter Sgardelis says the nearest turbine to a house would be 1.3 kilometres away, further than guidelines require.

He says landholders stand to earn tens of thousands of dollars a year to let the turbines be built on their properties and more consultation with locals will be conducted in the coming months.

"We have 36 land owners. They have been with us for a... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Plans for what would become one of the nation's biggest wind farms are now in the hands of the South Australian Government.

Developer REpower has lodged a formal application with the state's Development Assessment Commission to build the 199-turbine project on the state's Yorke Peninsula.

The $1.3 billion wind farm known as the 'Ceres project' was first announced 18 months ago.

If approved, the project would occupy 18,000 hectares near Black Point, about 20 kilometres south-west of Ardrossan on the peninsula's east coast.

The company says the turbines would have a combined maximum output of 600 megawatts, enough to power 225,000 homes, but would probably produce about 40 per cent of that.

Electricity would be fed into the Adelaide grid via underwater cables across Gulf St Vincent.

Project manager Peter Sgardelis says the nearest turbine to a house would be 1.3 kilometres away, further than guidelines require.

He says landholders stand to earn tens of thousands of dollars a year to let the turbines be built on their properties and more consultation with locals will be conducted in the coming months.

"We have 36 land owners. They have been with us for a long while and we've made all those agreements, those agreements are binding and they are pretty much looking forward to this project going ahead," he said.

"Naturally, with all wind farms you get some opposition but we believe as our submission is released over probably the next month, we'll be able to counter all that and show the research that we've done and put all the facts on the table."

Mr Sgardelis says the chosen site is ideal for generating wind power.

"It's spread over a massive distance so I think north to south is close to 20 kilometres," he said.

"It's cropping country and we believe it's an excellent place to put a wind farm.

"When we say 600 megawatts, that's the maximum that will go down those underground powerlines.

"At times you do hit 600 megawatts and that's how these things go on to the grid because the grid is designed to take a maximum output.

"Naturally the wind doesn't blow 100 per cent of the time but the capacity factor for this wind farm is in excess of 40 per cent.

"Average wind speed there measured over seven years... is over eight metres a second and the turbines we're going to use are either 3.2 or 3.4 megawatt."

'Community divided'

Residents near the site say the project will generate significant local division.

The chair of the Black Point Progress Association, Kate Van Schaik, says community views are already polarised.

"Those that can see the negative impact of what's happening in terms of the wind farm industry itself, then there'll be others who will see the long term benefit," she said.

"There'll be quite extreme views."

In a statement, Independent Senator Nick Xenophon says the project will become a "white elephant that will be embroiled in litigation."

Senator Xenophon currently has a Bill before Parliament to introduce national standards on the level of noise created by wind turbines.

The Yorke Peninsula Council is withholding a decision on the project until councillors have seen the 1600-page development application.

Chief executive Andrew Cameron says while there is community concern about the loss of prime agricultural land, some landowners stand to benefit from the project.

"At the end of the day, the submission that council puts in, it must be based on planning arguments," he said.

"We can't get into the emotional side of it and unfortunately as we know wind farms can create a lot of emotion within communities."


Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/...

JAN 8 2013
https://www.windaction.org/posts/35813-major-wind-farm-project-causes-a-stir
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