Wine region forges ahead with wind and solar

ARENA

The Augusta Margaret River Shire says it has community support to go ahead with a hybrid wind farm in the wine and tourism region.

Shire sustainability officer Jared Drummond said the development of a renewable energy farm was the key initiative following a community workshop held last year.

The proposed 5-10MW hybrid wind and solar system would help the region source 20 per cent of energy from renewables by 2020, a target that was developed in 2010 as part of a community-led energy action plan.

Concerns about noise and the visual impact of wind farms have been aired in other parts of the country, and Mr Drummond acknowledged location would be significant criteria in determining the site.

The facility would need to be away from both built up and forested areas and “preferably east of the Busselton Highway” he said.

The Shire says it will need support from the West Australian Government to fund the project, and will also look to the Australian Renewable Energy Network Association for assistance.