Renewable power companies invite Abbott to visit a real wind farm | RenewEconomy

Renewable power companies invite Abbott to visit a real wind farm

Wind farm companies invite Tony Abbott to visit a real wind farm, while Greg Hunt wrestles with aesthetics of a single turbine in his electorate.


New Zealand power company TrustPower has invited Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to visit its South Australian wind farm, following his comments last week that wind turbines were “ugly” and “noisy” and a potential threat to health.

TrustPower CEO Vince Hawksworth, whose company operates the 270MW Snowtown wind farm in South Australia, and has more than 2000MW of projects in the pipeline in Australia, says Abbott – who has admitted he has only ever been close to a single turbine on Rottnest Island – to visit the facility.

“We’d like to have the opportunity to take the Prime Minister to Snowtown to get him familiar with the current technology and meet local people who live near the turbines and have welcomed the contribution the project has made to the community,” Hawksworth told the Bay of Plenty Times.

TrustPower’s offer is not the only one being extended to Abbott. Last week, in response to Abbott’s comments, and his revelations about his limited exposure, similar offers were made by Infigen Energy, Acciona and CWP.

Among TrustPower’s project pipeline are the 260MW Palmer project in South Australia, and the 250-320MW Dundonald project in Victoria.

Hawskworth told the Bay of Plenty Times in New Zealand that planning approvals should be ready by the end of the year, with completion likely within two to three years if they get the financial go-ahead.

That will depend on the outcome of the RET legislation that is currently going through the Senate.

Other projects in initial stages include Rye Park in NSW (up to 300MW), Wingeel in Victoria (400MW), and another as yet undisclosed location in Victoria (400MW). The company also has an early stage option on another potential site in NSW, which could be in the 500-600MW range.

Meanwhile, environment minister Greg Hunt has had some interesting things to say about a single turbine located behind a pub in his local electorate.

KIngs creek wind

Twice in radio interview in the past week with 3AW’s Tom Elliott, Hunt has been asked about his views on the 90kW turbine hosted by the Kings Creek Hotel in the town of Hastings (picture above and below).

Tom Elliott said: “On Sunday I drove through your electorate, through Hastings and I notice that the big windmill that doesn’t work to the rear of the local pub there is still standing. It is ugly. Will you have it knocked down?”

kings creek wind sunset

Hunt, who last week refused to express an opinion about the look of wind turbines, replied: “Look, I don’t actually have the power to determine what’s built or not built in an urban environment, somebody’s backyard, but I know what you mean.”

Hunt said the turbine was no longer in operation because the hotel owners had trouble obtaining spare parts. The turbine was built in 2006 at a cost of $240,000. Youtube videos show it operating last year.

Elliott: “No I’ve never seen the wind turbine actually turning, no matter how strong the wind.”

 “It did a few years ago but I think it’s been a while since its seen action.”

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  1. disqus_3PLIicDhUu 5 years ago

    Is that turbine in the right spot, looks like it might cop some turbulence where it’s been placed.

  2. DogzOwn 5 years ago

    Abbott should travel there on the Ghan, so much rumbling, banging and crashing that he’ll really welcome the quiet at Snow Town

  3. lin 5 years ago

    Even if Tony wanted to, I suspect his minders will not let him go. He might do something embarrassing like comment how attractive and quiet they are, or express surprise at just how much power they can generate.

    • Alex 5 years ago

      Hahaha I wonder if he’s ever been to a coal plant recently, bet they keep him away from that as well since he’s be literally speechless at the constant noise, spluttering at the pollution or he’d start eating raw coal to prevent it being burnt, one or the other. The wind farm would be a welcome relief for him since onions can be grown underneath and no water is lost in generation compared to all the losses from coal mining and power generation so more onions can be grown. Also if global warming is slowed that means more onions can grow. Just watch he doesn’t pass the wind he’ll try to eat or we could see high methane emissions!

      • Calamity_Jean 5 years ago

        What’s with all the references to onions? Is Abbott famous for liking onions? Or talking about onions? I’m not Australian, obviously.

        • Alex 5 years ago

          Yeh nah wouldn’t of heard about it then that’s fine well he ate a raw onion just like an apple when he was out on a trip to an onion farm. It went a bit viral across the internet for a little while.

          • Calamity_Jean 5 years ago

            He’s certainly a strange character. I hope you’re able to get rid of him soon.

  4. Barri Mundee 5 years ago

    Could an invitation also be extended to Joe Hockey, Alan Jones, Ray Hadlee, and, well, most Coalition MPs ??

  5. Chris Fraser 5 years ago

    Well maybe it is not surprising that even in New Zealand they consider Him to be a joke …

  6. Pedro 5 years ago

    I think Abbots head would explode from the deadly infra sound levels.

  7. Alan S 5 years ago

    To understand the terms ‘ugly’ and ‘threat to health’ they should take him to Port Augusta’s Northern power station and to Leigh Creek mine.

  8. Alan S 5 years ago

    Elliott: “No I’ve never seen the wind turbine actually turning, no matter how strong the wind.” I bet he can still hear the ‘infrasound’.

  9. howardpatr 5 years ago

    Abbott would not want to be seen anywhere near sustainable or renewable energy technology – against his creationist beliefs.

  10. orko138 5 years ago

    Nope. He wont go. He wears Liberal tinted glasses-anything renewable comes up the color green with a target on it.

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