FARM WITH A DIFFERENCE: WestWind Energy Managing
Director, Tobias Geiger and Commercial Operations Manager
Marla Brauer check on work at a turbine manufacturing plant.

A ‘SMALL’ $100m wind farm, planned to be constructed south-west of Warracknabeal, is on the cards under a proposal by Gisborne-based wind farm developer, WestWind Energy.

With a focus on Victoria since its establishment in 2004, WestWindEnergy has brought four other wind farms to various stages of the development pipeline.
These include:
• The 321MW Moorabool
Wind Farm project which was
sold to Goldwind in 2016
• The 216MW Lal Lal Wind
Farm project, which was sold
to Macquarie Capital in early
2017
• The 131MW Mt Mercer
Wind Farm, which was sold to
Meridian Energy in 2009 and is
now fully operational

A planning permit application was recently submitted to the State Government for the 800MW Golden Plains Wind Farm.

WestWind Energy Managing Director, Tobias Geiger, said the Warracknabeal Wind Farm would be located on approximately 610 hectares of agricultural cropping farm land about 10 kilometres south of Warracknabeal.

“The development will consist of up to 15 large turbines with an installed capacity of approximately 50MW,’’ Mr Geiger said.

“This will provide power of around 175 Gigawatt hours, for around 30,000 average Victorian homes annually and reduce yearly carbon dioxide emissions by more than 175,000 tonnes,” he said.

In a fact sheet the company say the towers will stand up to 230 metres high to the tip of the blades, with the blades in the order of 150 metres in diameter. Construction time is
expected to be about one year, with commissioning expected to be completed by 2019.

Mr Geiger said WestWind began monitoring the wind resource in the area in early 2017, and determined the site was ideal for a wind energy facility shortly after.

Although the project is in its infancy, WestWind anticipates that it will lodge a planning permit application by the end of this year.

Mr Geiger said, if approved, the project would bring various economic benefi ts to the region once construction began.

“This is an important energy project for the region, and it will provide a sustainable flow of clean energy for future generations of Victorians,’’ Mr Geiger said.

“The construction and operation of the Warracknabeal Wind Farm will have a positive effect on the local economy,” he said.

“WestWind expects that during construction about 30 people will be employed by the project. Two people will then be required to operate the wind farm for its 25 to 35-year life cycle.,” Mr Geiger said.

“Once operational, a community fund will also be established to provide annual financial support of up to $15,000 a year for a range of community based initiatives, projects and events that benefit local communities around the wind farm,’’ he said.

WestWind Energy will hold a pop-up information session at the Warracknabeal Town Hall from 7.30am-11.30am next month on Friday, December 8.

A light breakfast will be provided. The session will provide the community with an opportunity to meet WestWind staff and ask questions about the Warracknabeal Wind Farm development.

If unable to attend the session but would like more information, please call WestWind Energy on (03) 5421 9999.