March 28, 2017

NEW JOBS BREEZE INTO THE BALLARAT REGION WITH WIND FARM APPROVAL

A new wind farm at Lal Lal will create local jobs and support clean energy generation for Victoria.

Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard today announced the Andrews Labor Government has paved the way for the Lal Lal Wind Farm southwest of Ballarat to proceed.

“Minister for Planning Richard Wynne approved changes to an original permit approved by the former Labor Government in 2009,” Mr Howard said.

“Not only will this project deliver a massive boost to our renewable energy supply, but it is expected to create 641 direct and indirect jobs during construction, and another 49 ongoing positions once complete.

“The wind farm will feature 60 turbines, capable of producing enough clean energy to power the equivalent of around 110,000 households each year.

“State and Federal Liberal governments have neglected the renewable energy industry, but Labor is helping build a strong, sustainable sector that creates jobs and reduces our environmental impact.”

Last year WestWind Energy sought changes to its permit, specifically to increase the height of permitted turbines up to 161m; to apply a newer and more accurate noise standard; and to remove four permitted wind turbines, along with other minor changes.

WestWind Energy Managing Director Tobi Geiger welcomed the Victorian Planning Minister’s decision to approve changes to the permitted Lal Lal Wind Farm.

“This is a very positive step in the right direction. It means that we can now get on with constructing this wind farm,’’ Mr Geiger said.

“We are extremely pleased that the Planning Minister has seen the value in the amendments and has proceeded to give us the green light to move towards constructing what will be a more efficient wind farm.

“Since the project was approved in 2009, advances in technology have made wind turbines more efficient and as a result the cost of electricity generation has been significantly reduced. For the Lal Lal wind farm, this means that more clean energy can be generated at a lower cost to Victorians and exported, while also reducing the total number of turbines required on site.

“We’d also like to acknowledge the community that took the time to make submissions to the planning panel and attend the hearing. We appreciate the time and effort they made so that the panel members could gain a better understanding of the project and the community that surrounds it.”

West Wind Energy will also establish a new Lal Lal Wind Farm Community Fund Program, which will provide $60,000 each year for a range of local initiatives, projects and events that benefit the local community.