AGL Energy Limited’s Macarthur and Oaklands Hill wind farms recently played host to community members living near the proposed Coopers Gap Wind Farm project in Western Queensland.
Thirty-eight people toured the two wind farms and met with local turbine hosts, wind farm neighbours, wind farm workers and local businesses, and had the opportunity to ask questions and discuss any concerns they had about wind farms.
The proposed Coopers Gap Wind Farm project is AGL’s foremost renewable energy project in Queensland. While there is some time to go before a final decision can be made on whether the project proceeds to construction, it is hoped that if it proceeds it would be financed through AGL’s Powering Australian Renewables Fund.
The Coopers Gap Wind Farm is proposed to have a capacity of up to 350MW, which would produce approximately 1100GWh of renewable energy, powering more than 190,000 average Australian homes. The renewable energy produced would reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 860,000 tonnes annually, which is the equivalent of taking over 250,000 cars off the road.
Coopers Gap Wind Farm project manager Neil Cooke said apart from the tour giving attendees the opportunity to experience an operating wind farm first hand, the Macarthur and Glenthompson communities also received an economic boost from the visit.
“Throughout the trip we used local businesses and suppliers. We stayed at accommodation in Warrnambool, had lunches and dinners at Macarthur and Dunkeld, and visited the Suffoir Winery,” he said.
“We especially thank the Victorian wind farm community for their hospitality and the generosity they showed to their Queensland neighbours during the visit.”
Potential Coopers Gap Wind Farm host and tour attendee Cyril Stewart described the tour as “enlightening”.
“I really enjoyed the tour. I can see no adverse physical effects from being near the wind turbines. In my opinion, the sooner they can build it the better. It’s not just going to be of benefit to participating landholders, but the whole community,” Mr Stewart said.
Similarly, tour attendee, John Maher, said he enjoyed the visit and found it to be very informative.
“As a wind farm neighbour for the Coopers Gap Wind Farm, I don’t think there will be any physical effects from the wind farm on people. I also didn’t see any impacts on farm animals or wildlife either. And I’m keen for all the community to get some benefit from having such a large economic investment in our area,” Mr Maher said.