Plans to build a huge wind farm in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, overlooking the site of the now closed Hazelwood coal-fired power station, have been revised down again, from 35 turbines to a total of 33.
Local paper the Latrobe Valley Express reported on Tuesday that the developers of the Delburn wind farm, OSMI Australia, had amended the design of the originally 300MW and 53-turbine project after the first round of impact statements were completed and discussed with the community.
OSMI director Peter Marriott said the latest 33-turbine layout was the one the company intended to submit to Victoria’s minister for planning in the first step towards construction, but that there were “still a few more steps” before that could milestone could be ticked off.
“As part of that we will be displaying the wind farm reports with the updated information and environmental referrals and we are still the process of submitting those,” Marriott said in a company newsletter.
“We’ve reduced the total number of turbines and there have been some changes to the way that those are going to be accessed underground,” he said.
“We were looking at whether the turbines can physically fit and we are learning more about the telecommunication points around the area and we looked at which houses are lived in and appropriately framed the wind farm around things that can impact the neighbours.”
As RenewEconomy reported in March of 2019, the $400-$500 project, which aims to offer locals the opportunity for community co-investment, is being developed by OMSI on plantation land spanning the Latrobe City, Baw Baw Shire and South Gippsland Shire Councils.
At that time, project developer Peter Marriott said the location for the project took inspiration from European examples, where wind turbines often paired with forestry plantations.
Since then, however, more such project proposals have cropped up in Australia, including the just approved Forest Wind project slated for Queensland government-owned pine plantations between Gympie and Maryborough, and Neoen Australia’s proposed 900MW wind project and battery hub in western Victoria.
OSMI says the next stage in community engagement will be the creation of a Community and Stakeholder Consultative Committee which will have an independent chairperson – for which it is taking applications now.
The company is planning to hold additional community meetings in Thorpdale on March 13 and Darlimurla on March 14.