Wind farm turbulence stalls projects

Wind farms on both sides of the Tasman are experiencing difficulties, with health concerns from residents stalling developments, according to Energy Business News.

Australian renewable energy developer Infigen Energy has received a rejection from the Shire of Mitchell Council for a proposed 16-turbine wind farm south-east of Seymour in central Victoria.

The application was the first to be considered since the Baillieu Government introduced new planning rules prohibiting wind farms within 2km of residential areas.

Council unanimously refused the application based on health concerns regarding posed by noise levels.

“Strong community opposition to the application no doubt influenced Council’s decision,” Australian Environment Foundation (AEF) executive director Max Rheese told Energy Business News.

In New Zealand, negotiations are also underway between residents in the Tararua Range, north-east of Wellington and wind turbine based renewable electricity generation firm NZ Windfarms, regarding noise concerns emitted from the Te Rere Hau wind farm. The 97-turbine wind farm was ruled too noisy by the Environment Court earlier this year.

NZ Windfarms chief executive Chris Sadler told Energy Business News the company’s aim is to ensure noise levels are within the expectations of residents.

“We are working with them and it’s obviously a process relatively fraught with emotion, however we’re trying to find a way that will work for the community long term,” Mr Sadler said.

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