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 Victoria: Southern Hemisphere’s largest wind farm approved

13.10.19. By Jack Cade
The myth of cheap and reliable renewable energy by way of wind generators and solar panels reaches new heights of madness with the Federal Government’s blessing of the creation of the biggest wind farm in the southern hemisphere. This giant monument to climate hysteria, environmental hypocrisy, government incompetence and corporate greed is to be situated around the small farming community of Rokewood in Victoria and is only a few kilometres south east of Ballarat. It probably doesn’t need saying that the Victorian Government is right behind this dubious enterprise as is the Mayor and Councillors of the Golden Plains Shire.
We are not talking about half a dozen wind generators sitting on top of a hill here. What we are talking about is a wind farm that gobbles up 39 farming properties, covers an area of some 16,739 hectares (167 sq klms) of prime farming land with 228 giant windmills and is an environmental disaster in the making.It surrounds houses and the willingness of the creator of this monstrosity, WestWind Energy, to compensate homeowners whose houses are located within 2 kms of a wind generator suggests that there will be a continuous noise problem and probable resulting health issues and other inconveniences to be experienced by local residents and business owners. One must also expect that farm animals and wildlife will suffer and birdlife decimated.
It is estimated that construction of this grotesque monument to environmental vandalism will cost some $1.5b to $1.7b and will entail the use of approximately 25,200 tons of steel, 70,000 tons of concrete, 260 tons of non-recyclable plastic.  There is no estimate available for the amounts of rare earth and other materials that will be consumed.
Then there will be the ongoing compensation to farmers for the use of their farmland and the yearly compensation to home and business owners who just happen to be inconvenienced by wind generators situated within 2km of their properties. Added to all of that is ongoing maintenance and after only 18 to 20 years of intermittent energy production the replacement or dismantling and removal of defunct wind generators.  However, there is no mention of the environmental impact of the disposal of wind generators and their associated equipment that will in all probability be relegated to landfill.
WestWind Energy claims that their monstrosity will provide enough energy to power 500,000 homes but does not mentioned in any of its propaganda blurbs the huge backup batteries that will be needed to provide energy to the 500,000 customers when the wind doesn’t blow. Then again, maybe they are planning on using very large diesel generators in lieu of the reliable base load coal or gas fired power stations that are considered the work of the devil in Victoria.
One must laugh at the inability of those in government to come to terms with the reality of the recent failure of such batteries in South Australia. The huge batteries are grossly damaging to the environment right from their inception. They call for extended and unsustainable mining of the materials used in their manufacture and this coupled with their ridiculously short life expectancy, which can be as low as 5 years, makes them a ticking environmental time bomb.   Unfortunately that is not spelt out in WestWind Energy propaganda that actually calls for community investment in the project as you can read for yourself in the following: Here!
{ 16 comments… add one }
  • luk1955 13/10/2019, 6:38 am

    There is a proposal in the UK to put 67 windmills around Loch Ness, that would use 22,000,000 tons of concrete. This project calls for 228 windmills. On a ration basis, this amounts to 74,865,671 tons of concrete for this project. The LN project calls for 11 new quarries to excavate the raw materials for the concrete bases, at 2,000,000 tons of rock per quarry that is excavated. This project will need 37 quarries to supply concrete for this project. How much oil based energy will be needed to excavate these quarries? And where will the quarries be located? How much energy will be needed to transport almost 75 million tons of rock? Boral has quite a few quarries for concrete around Australia, but this order would require the transport of large amounts of rock around the country. How much energy will be required to transport all this rock and concrete around?

    Only 3-5 mw per mill. That is very low efficiency, when other mills are putting our around 10 mw per mill.

  • Penguinite 13/10/2019, 7:45 am

    Gross stupidity! Ditto what I said about “Scomo good idea”. Victoria is compounding the problem by covering up valuable food production land. What Farmers need is water!

    • DT 13/10/2019, 9:02 am

      ScoMo had no say on this wind farm, planning approval etc by VicGov.

      By the way, Greens would answer that farming can continue underneath wind turbines. Not that I am using that as a plus.

      • Penguinite 13/10/2019, 12:41 pm

        Glad to learn you’re not suggesting Greens fake news is a worthwhile plus! The only animals that can graze are ovine. Of course the dung can’t be removed mechanically so the farmer just has to wait while nature does. Ride-on mowers can offer limited trimming of the grass between the aisles. so what happens when non agriculturalists want to service or replace the panels? Snakes will be a deterrent? Still can’t see this be a viable use of arable land!

  • Lorraine 13/10/2019, 8:53 am

    Daniel Andrews will be known as the dumbest Premier ever, as he quotes building dams will not make it rain, and Lisa Neville the other dumbest female quotes all the good spots for dams is taken. The Cost to us the on user of power, will just be the burden that , will be for many of my family and others .West Wind will not lose, but we will

    • DT 13/10/2019, 9:04 am

      Consider investment in renewable energy and that it includes union industry superannuation funds.

  • DT 13/10/2019, 9:01 am

    “The Golden Plains Wind Farm is located in the Golden Plains Shire to the south, southeast and northwest of the small township of Rokewood. The proposed development will consist of up to 228, 3-5 MW wind turbines. The project will generate over 3500 GWh per annum of electricity, enough to power more than 500,000 homes –and prevent more than 3.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted to the atmosphere each year.”

    228 wind turbines of 3-5 MW capacity ….. meaning “nameplate” or theoretical maximum generating capacity in perfect conditions of continuous operation.

    AEMO rates wind turbines at 30-35% “capacity factor” of nameplate or installed capacity because of their intermittent supply average delivery.

    In other words this gigantic wind farm has a capacity factor generating on average far less than the Liddell Power Station NSW AGL intend to shut down. It has 4 x 500 MW generators. Wind turbines of even the 5 MW mentioned and x 228 would deliver 399 MW based on capacity factor.

    Consider the farmland area taken up by the wind farm, the feeder transmission line to the main grid and the back up generators and battery storage.

    The costs involved would buy more than one Liddell capacity HELE new power stations.

    • ibbit 13/10/2019, 10:12 am

      I see the federal government’s approval of this wind farm as a betrayal. Morrison is, as I have thought all along, a clone of Turnbull and will be lucky he if he lasts more than one term if he does not start to listen to what voters want for the country.
      No amount of pleading “states” are the devil in the ointment will change people’s opinions because he is the PM and he will wear the approbation for failed expectations.

      • DT 13/10/2019, 10:18 am

        “Blessing” is not approval, only state governments can approve: agree to development application etc.

        I took “blessing” to mean RET which is federal subsidies based and other anti-fossil fuel burning emissions targets.

        Very clearly this wind farm was approved by VicGov …

        The Roles and Responsibilities of Federal, State and Local Governments

        The Federal Government

        The Federal or Commonwealth Government is responsible for the conduct of national affairs. Its areas of responsibility are stated in the Australian Constitution and include defence and foreign affairs; trade, commerce and currency; immigration; postal services, telecommunications and broadcasting; air travel; most social services and pensions. The Federal Government is also involved, mainly through funding, in many things largely carried out by the States, such as health, education, environmental issues, industrial relations, etc.

        State or Territory Government

        Under the Australian Constitution, the States are responsible for everything not listed as a Federal responsibility. However, sometimes both levels are involved. Major State responsibilities include schools, hospitals, conservation and environment, roads, railways and public transport, public works, agriculture and fishing, industrial relations, community services, sport and recreation, consumer affairs, police, prisons and emergency services. Each state has its own constitution setting out its system of government.

        Local Government

        Local Government areas vary greatly in size and character. The Sydney area is divided into about 35 cities, municipalities or shires, each with its own local council. The bigger country centres such as Bathurst or Albury have city or municipal councils. Large but less populated country areas, with a number of small towns and large rural areas, are usually shires with a Shire Council based in one of the larger towns. The power of local governments is controlled by Acts of State Parliament such as the Local Government Acts. Local Councils are concerned with matters close to our homes, such as building regulations and development, public health, local roads and footpaths, parks and playing fields, libraries, local environmental issues, waste disposal, and many community services.

        Who Does What?

        It is not always easy to know which government is responsible for which service. Although the Federal Government is probably better known to many of us, the everyday things we do usually have more to do with our State or Local Governments.

  • Gary 13/10/2019, 9:52 am

    The ONLY reason this is the biggest project in the Southern Hemisphere is that all other Southern Hemisphere countries are not this dumb. They already have sufficient coal fired power and some Nuclear!

    • ibbit 13/10/2019, 10:12 am

      Good comment.

    • Neville 13/10/2019, 2:15 pm

      Well-said, Gary.

  • DT 13/10/2019, 10:21 am

    “In mid-2017, federal and state environmental referrals were lodged,

    and referral agencies made a determination that the project will be required to go through a bilateral State Environment Effects Statement (EES) process and a controlled action under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act (EPBC).

    In August 2017, a planning application for the project was lodged with the State Government which will be processed alongside the EES process.

    Public comment on the draft scoping requirements for the Golden Plains Wind Farm EES closed in November 2017. To find out more about the EES process go to the State Government EES website by clicking here.”

  • JK. 13/10/2019, 12:22 pm

    At least there’ll be plenty of food for the crows if they learn how to dodge the blades.

  • Tony H 13/10/2019, 5:19 pm

    Why doesn’t someone do a study on how quickly certain state and federal politicians increased the size of their bank accounts under the renewable scam! With the attacks on coal, the destroying of coal power plants, the increase in massive subsidies to these renewables, that are unreliable, expensive and requiring of much maintenance! No we want do that as that expose the cheats/ liars and Charletons especially one Malcolm Turnbull and family!

  • joy pym 14/10/2019, 8:33 am

    Another absolute disaster waiting to happen another disgusting and inept decision by our clueless and useless Governments both Federal and State who care nothing about the welfare of our once beautiful country which they are ruining very quickly…they need to go ALL OF THEM

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