Rural Vic sets standard for ’community renewables’ says Mark Story.
October 14th, 2010
Extending well beyond the individual household level, a growing number of initiatives are applying ESD principles to entire communities throughout Australia.
One such example is Australia’s first community-owned wind farm, that Hepburn Wind is building in rural Victoria.
Expected to be operational in the first half of 2011, the $12.9 million privately funded project is scheduled to begin this month.
On completion, the two II megawatt wind turbines are expected to annually generate more power than that used by the 2,300 homes within the surrounding Daylesford and Hepburn Springs communities.
Despite a mixed response, Simon Holmes A Court Chairman of Hepburn Wind says Australia’s first community-owned wind farm shows that – given the opportunity – the community is willing to put in very patient capital into building its own renewable energy infrastructure.
To assist with the costs of connecting Australia’s first community-owned wind farm to the electricity grid Hepburn Wind received a grant of $750,000 earlier this year.
According to Ballarat East MP Geoff Howard, the grant will also help local network operator, Powercor, and the builders of the wind farm, REpower Systems develop and implement what is expected to become a standard design for community renewable energy projects Australia-wide.
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