The scale of a proposed $1 billion, 200 turbine wind farm near Boorowa in south-western New South Wales has been cut in half, after what has been described as ‘consultations with the public.’ ABC News reports that the project’s developer, Wind Prospect CWP, has revised its plans for the Bango wind farm, and now hopes to erect 100 turbines, because houses have been built nearby. “The original project was going to be in the order to 200 turbines and it was actually going to connect into a bigger power line just north of Yass, so the smaller project now connects into a smaller line,” said Wind Prospect CWP’s senior development manager Adrian Maddocks. “So, essentially we’re looking at a $500 million or $600 million project and that’s half the size and so we’re expecting it will stay roughly in that shape and hopefully no more contraction.”
Maddocks adds that the revised layout for the project will also fit with the NSW government’s recently released draft planning guidelines for wind farms; which – as is already the case in Victoria – will mean wind farm operators seeking to develop projects in NSW will need to get written consent from every landowner within 2km of the project. If they cannot get this, they will have to go through an additional “gateway process,” which requires detailed information on the visual and noise impacts of the farm (including photomontages of how the turbines will appear from each non-host residence). The O’Farrell government also wants to reduce the allowable noise level to 35dB – far lower than Europe (55dB), the US and the Netherlands (50dB), and other Australian states (40dB).
Clearly, as Wind Prospect’s Maddocks rather mildly put it,”it’s an evolving process” for the Australian wind energy industry at the moment. “Houses are constantly being built in this sort of area,” he told the ABC. “There’s a very strong development of residential lots. So, the wind farm has to adapt to those sort of modifications.” Maddocks says that the next step for the company is to establish a community consultative committee, and then to submit an environmental assessment to the Department of Planning within the next 12 to 15 months.
In other news…
Dyesol says it has made “remarkable progress” in the development of its biomimetic Dye Sensitized Solar Cell (DSC) technology, with external performance testing of its DSC “strip cell” recording 7.48 per cent efficiency at one-third sun – which the company describes as typical lower-light, real-world conditions. Next steps for the technology are completion of the proof-of-concept phase, testing-validation and prototype development.
UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is set to pledge £100 million ($US156 million) towards the development of renewable and energy efficient projects – money that will be channeled through Equitix and Sustainable Development Capital, two funds aiming to attract foreign investment for clean and renewable energy companies. “We seek nothing less than a clean, green, low-carbon economy,” Clegg will reportedly say in a speech in London. “There is a global energy revolution under way. And the UK is not going to be left behind.”
Democrat Congressman Jim McDermott has become the latest US politician to try and deliver a carbon pricing mechanism for the nation, last week tabling a bill in the House of Reps that would result in a new national tax on carbon emissions. BusinessGreen reports that the legislation would require 75 per cent of the revenue raised to be returned to consumers in the form of a new monthly dividend, while the remaining 25 per cent would be used solely to support deficit reduction efforts.