Daylesford wind farm goes ahead  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

The Age has an article on a community owned wind farm being built in Victoria - Daylesford wind farm goes ahead.

AS big energy companies bemoan a lack of certainty to invest in new power plants, a central Victorian town last night celebrated a deal that will build Australia's first community-owned wind farm.

After five years of planning, contracts were signed yesterday to build the two-turbine Hepburn Community Wind Park at Leonards Hill, about 10 kilometres from Daylesford.

According to the co-operative behind the project, it will generate 12,200 megawatt hours a year - significantly more than is needed to power the town's 1887 homes.

Hepburn Wind chairman Simon Holmes a Court said more than 1100 members had invested $7.5 million. Together with a $975,000 state government grant and the backing of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, it was enough to sign a contract with German manufacturer REpower systems to build the $12.9 million farm.

Mr Holmes a Court said the project was based on the Denmark model of small communities owning boutique wind farms. ''Most Australians want to see a meaningful response to the threat of climate change, but many aren't sure what constructive role they can play,'' he said.

''By pooling resources, [we] have developed a model for the low-carbon future that is both low cost - at least four times cheaper than rooftop solar photovoltaics - and brings a significant new business to town.''

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