ABC’s Landline television program aired a story on the development of wind farms in Western Victoria and how this ‘gold rush’ of wind, solar and battery farms impacts on the landscape, local people and farmers.
Wind and Solar Developments are creating increasing stress and overload being placed onto the statewide grid, requiring further upgrades to cope with the rapid influx of renewables. A rush which has seen Summer power outages in Victoria and also in SA, at enormous cost to consumers and businesses.
Governments and developers have not been made accountable for firstly the additional infrastructure requirements, secondly, kept pace with the additional upgrades and thirdly, prevented the additional costs to all Australians caused by the renewables rush.
There is a mish mash of power lines crossing the district, without much thought or planning, and Local Councils and local communities are left dealing with the negatives. This spread of the largest turbines and power lines impacts on aerial crop spraying, aerial water bombing in fire fighting and interferes with bird flight paths, into what is known as the ‘dead zone’ or the blade path where birds, bats and insects cannot survive.
The National Wind Farm Commissioner Mr Dyer, has shown himself to be useless at protecting Australians from the negatives renewables bring to communities across Australia. At a Mortlake public meeting, Mr Dyers callous advice to those poor people forced to exist within 1km of a wind turbine; “If you don’t like it, leave”.
People are led to believe that thousands of homes will be powered by these wind turbines. That just isn’t quite true. The power goes into the grid and is sold at a high ‘green’ price, it doesn’t actually freely power any homes. Wind turbines only operate to 30% of their capacity for many reasons; a lack of wind, too much wind, too many wind speed and wind direction changes, temperature and maintenance, which requires the turbines to be stopped or turned off.
The system of buying and selling electricity is a muddied one, where Renewable Energy Certificates and electricity is stockpiled, power is pre bought by the States and also sold in the market at the ‘lowest price’ to the highest bidder. Consumers pay and pay over again through the nose for renewables.
Communities such as Mortlake have seen enough development of wind farms and are firmly against the construction of more. The cities of Ararat, Stawell are now surrounded by turbines and growth of this industry is being streamlined further North, despite the long-standing negatives of renewable energy.
The Victorian Planning Department keep churning the approvals out, meeting the commands of Premier Daniel Andrews and Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio whom have shown no care towards the neighbours already tormented by sonic pulsations and forced from their homes.
Stockyard Hill, where the volcanic plains landscape and agricultural land is spectacular, faces one of the largest developments and like so many other rural communities not wanting wind turbines, the locals have been ignored. The turbines are quickly being constructed and the visual impacts alone are worse than expected.
Landline made an effort but failed to interview anyone already living within 2 kms of an existing wind farm, nor anyone forced to leave their properties because of the adverse sound and health impacts. Places further to the West where wind farms have been operating for ten years such as Codrington, Portland, Cape Bridgewater, Macarthur, Glenthompson, etc are still being problematically impacted by turbine emitted infrasound pulsing at infrasonic rates. Complaints there are noted by the Operator/Owners and supposedly ‘taken very seriously’.
Just like the neighbours at Toora, and Waubra, who have been detrimentally affected and mostly ignored. Today’s solutions to the acoustic problems is not to sensibly downgrade the size of these monsters, or turn them off at night or remove them, but wrongly act to silence any complaints through financially based ‘gifts’. Payments which are established before the ‘noise’ torture starts.
No amount of ‘funds’ or ‘gifting’ paid to neighbours and communities ever stops the noise or makes impacted homes livable and sell-able. Letters to Landline might alert them to what was missing in the program and perhaps encourage them to a less biased presentation. Here; http://www.abc.net.au/tv/programs/landline/old-site/contact.htm
Link to the Landline program: (found at the 43.00 mark) [link is having technical problems]