Gullen Range wind farm turbine. Photo Crookwell GazetteNewtricity, the developers of the proposed 31 turbine Biala wind farm, has offered $2,500 per year per turbine contribution to a Community Enhancement Fund.
Nanjing Night Net

At last week’s meeting, the Upper Lachlan Shire Council gave its “in principle” support for the agreement.

The State Department of Planning and Environment is currently assessing Newtricity’s application to construct the wind farm.

As approval has yet to be given for the development, a formal agreement between Newtricity and the Council for the Enhancement Fund cannot yet be executed, but at last week’s Council meeting Newtricity put forward its proposal.

The $2,500 per turbine would begin upon the commissioning of the wind farm until the end of its operational life, with the contribution being adjusted to meet increases of the Consumer Price Index each year.

Under the agreement, Newtricity will provide funding to undertake initiatives which provide a direct benefit to the local community.

These initiatives will be decided upon in consultation with the Upper Lachlan Council and members of the local community, which will include areas with ten kilometres of the turbines.

Under the agreement, landowners who have granted a lease or easement to the wind farm will be excluded from Community Fund, as they already benefit through payments from the developers.

The ten kilometre distance from the turbines is in line with the Upper Lachlan Shire’s Environmental Policy.

Extended area for Rye Park wind farm benefits

THE area to be included in the Rye Park wind farm Community Benefit Funding has been extended from the usual ten kilometres to 20 kilometres.

This was revealed in the detailed proposal, now on public display, discussed at last week’s Upper Lachlan Council meeting.

The wind farm proposal has reduced its initial plan for 126 turbines to 109.

When Cr. Malcolm Barlow questioned why the range for benefits had been extended,

General Manager Mr. john Bell explained that the area was sparsely settled and the expanded figure would bring more people into the scheme.

The wind farm will contribute $2,500 per turbine per year to the Community Benefit Fund, and Upper Lachlan Council will hold the monies which are attributable to areas within its boundary.

Under the proposed agreement on the funding, a proportion of not less than 20 per cent must be allocated to local education assistance.

Money not expended in this way in any year must be transferred to the Fund for the following year.

A committee with delegates from Council, the community and the wind farm will decide on the allocation of funds each year, when applications will be called for from the public.

Full terms of the proposed development are now on display at the Council’s offices at Crookwell and Gunning, and on the Department of Planning and Environment web site.

Wind farm powered 60,000 homes

The Gullen Range Wind Farm has announced that during 2015 it produced enough electricity to power 60,000 homes.

The figure is given is the Wind Farm’s first newsletter for this year.

The number of homes is calculated by taking the average daily output of the wind farm over the year and comparing it to the daily average consumption of electricity by a typical home.

The newsletter claims that the electricity generated by the wind farm, in terms of residential use only, was enough to “keep the lights on” in about seven cities the size of Goulburn.

The newsletter also announced Stage 2 of the clean energy program for residents living within five kilometres of a wind turbine.

In this program the wind farm will assist the residents involved with the installation of a solar PV or sola hot water system.

So far, there have been nine applications under Stage 2.

Following feedback from residents, the wind farm management has revised the way the Stage 2 program will operate.

Proposed revisions include expanding the program so wall insulation and better insulated windows can be funded, in addition to the PV solar and solar hot water, and amending the program so that residents no longer need to find the money t pay for the Stage 2 installation upfront.

It is planned to have the revised program up and running in August.

The proposed changes are being reviewed by Upper Lachlan Shire Council, Goulburn Mulwaree Council and the State Department of Planning and Environment.


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