Permit for wind farm ready to go

Final talks: Woolnorth Wind Farms renewable engineer Daniel Bennett and stakeholder liaison Katrina McDougall welcomed a number of Mortlake and district residents to a forum concerning the proposed Mount Fyans Wind Farm project last week.

FINAL discussions with the Mortlake community concerning the Mount Fyans Wind Farm development have concluded.

Project developer Woolnorth Wind Farms hosted the final community consultation last weekend, ahead of submitting a planning permit before the end of August.

Woolnorth Wind Farms has proposed the Mount Fyans Wind Farm would consist of a site five kilometres north of Mortlake along the Mortlake-Ararat Road.

Set to include 87 turbines with a maximum tip height of up to 200 metres, the site would cover about 136 square kilometres and comprise of 12 host landowners.

Project development manager Michael Hogan said attendees expressed a “wide range of views” on the proposed project during last Friday and Saturday’s display.

“Approximately 67 people attended the display over the two days,” he said.

Realising the effects: Mortlake and district community members learnt about the noise and visual impacts the proposed Mount Fyans Wind Farm development would have at a consultation session last week.

One of the key parts of the display was an aural presentation simulating how audible the wind turbines would be at different distances.

The display also included a video presentation simulating the visual impact of the wind turbines using digital insertions.

Mr Hogan said a number of people engaged in the aural display and found it informative, as they had never heard the sound a wind turbine makes.

“Some people were interested in the noise and visual effect of the wind farm, with many finding the posters, auralisation and drive-by simulation very informative,” he said.

“Others were excited about the community benefits to flow from the wind farm and were eager to learn more about how they could get involved in the project moving forward.

“Many expressed a view that trucks should be using state roads.”

Posters also showed the overall concept and design plan, the expected traffic flows to and from the site and a draft map detailing where the expected transmission line and road access points would be.

Woolnorth Wind Farms renewable engineer Daniel Bennett said the project team had been in talks with Tilt Renewables about using part of their existing transmission line.

“It just makes sense to share infrastructure when you can,” he said.

The proposed transmission line would run west across private land adjacent to Castle Carey Road to the Hamilton Highway and continue south west, with the last five kilometres running parallel to an existing 500 kilovolt line.

“Tilt Renewables and Woolnorth Wind Farms are currently working with a network service provider to assess the potential of the two wind farms overhead lines sharing double circuit poles,” Mr Hogan said.

“Negotiations around achieving this outcome are well-advanced and it is hoped that a decision on sharing transmission infrastructure will be made in coming weeks.”

Submissions would open once the Minister for Planning received the application, with the public able to have their say on the permit for a period of at least 14 days.

For more information about the development, visit www.woolnorthwind.com.au/wind-farms/mt-fyans.

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