Articles from Australia
Instead of creating investor certainty, the federal government has adopted a “picking winners” approach. It plans to build new generation assets such as the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro project, and subsidise others through a program of underwriting investments. Alongside this, the government’s proposed “big stick” laws would give it vast powers including those to break up big energy companies. Our research has confirmed this has a chilling effect on investment.
Wind farm turbines should be setback at least 1500 metres from a property's boundary fence, Moyne Shire councillors say.
A 60-tonne truck has rolled over near Bothwell, in Tasmania's central highlands, leaving a 68-metre-long wind turbine blade that costs $300,000 across the road.
It's estimated the blade came adrift around 6:40pm, the same time as the storm passed through the area. It's not yet known if the storm caused the turbine to break. The Lal Lal Windfarm consists of 60 Vestas V136-3.6 MW. The 228 MW facility was placed in service around June 2019.
In Tasmania, 10 new wind farms are proposed or under construction, adding to a number of existing major turbine sites, three of which have killed at least 37 eagles since 2002. There are fears the wind farm boom will push endangered species such as the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle, swift parrot and orange-bellied parrot closer to extinction.
The sharp drop in power from the wind farms overloaded demand for power on a transmission line from a neighboring state, which then tripped that link off, cutting the state off from back-up electricity supply. “These alleged failures contributed to the black system event and meant that AEMO (the Australian Energy Market Operator) was not fully informed when responding to system wide failure in South Australia."
The Australian Energy Regulatoralleges subsidiaries of the four companies – AGL Energy, Neoen SA, Pacific Hydro and Tilt Renewables – failed to ensure their windfarms complied with a generator performance standard requirement and had automatic protection systems to ensure continuity of supply. The regulator’s chair, Paula Conboy, said the alleged failures meant the Australian Energy Market Operator was not fully informed when responding to the system-wide failure.
Bird experts warned the latest deaths raised concerns about the survival of threatened bird species as the island state braced for a wind farm boom. “It’s very, very, very scary — wind farms are just bird mincers, eagle killers,” said Craig Webb, who runs a raptor refuge at Kettering, in southern Tasmania. “We have to do something to get on top of this.
A Tasmanian wind farm has killed three eagles in the past few months, and 37 eagles across its wider operations since 2002, amid fears 10 new wind farms planned for the island will cause extinctions. Woolnorth Wind Farms Holdings’ two sites in Tasmania’s far northwest have recorded the recent deaths of two endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles and one white-bellied sea eagle.
Peregrine falcons are one of the world’s fastest birds. They can reach more than 300km/h as they stoop on prey, knocking it out of the air to feed on it where it crashes to the ground. Peregrines are listed as rare across Australia and vulnerable in Victoria.
He said the public had not been properly informed of the private deals, or public impacts or cost-benefit analyses (economic, social, cultural and environmental) of what would be one of the biggest wind farm projects on Earth. He said details of the arrangements between the Hammond family, which farmed wagyu beef and owned the land, and developer UPC Renewables were not known. “Tasmanians have a right to know much more about the Robbins Island development,” Dr Brown said. “It is a huge resource extraction venture which will be lighting up no Tasmanian homes.”
Bob Brown’s objection to a wind farm highlights two important facts: renewables do affect the ecology and activists’ solutions tend towards exporting their environmental responsibilities rather than addressing them at home. In the US large-scale solar and wind farms are now having measurable effects on the environment and there are signs of resistance to new projects.
BLOWN AWAY: Yinnar residents Louise Gilmore and Sindy Van Eede were caught unawares by the proposed wind farm.
A wildlife expert has called for independent monitoring and studies into eagle deaths caused by windfarms, warning the problem is only going to get worse as the industry expands in Tasmania.
In a statement of claim filed with the Supreme Court in January, the Gardners say 260 of their 400 ultra-fine-wool sheep died after construction on AGL's adjoining Macarthur Wind Farm, near Hamilton in western Victoria, from late 2011 to mid-2012. They allege dust emissions caused by construction of the wind farm were "noxious" and "caused a material injury to the sheep".
“The prevalence of AM has not been widely reported either in Australia or worldwide, although it’s well known that it results in increased annoyance in listening tests – and has also been cited in complaints from residents living near wind farms,” says Dr Hansen, who led the study. An audible indoor low-frequency tone was amplitude modulated at the blade-pass frequency for 20% of time at 2.4km. Audible AM also occurred for a similar percentage of the day over a broad range of wind farm power outputs of between 40% and 85% of total capacity.
The report's authors, led by research fellow Kristy Hansen, said the findings "have important implications for possible sleep disruption" from wind farms, particularly in quiet rural areas, and further work was warranted. More research was also needed to determine the year-round prevalence of audible wind turbine pulsing, as well as to quantify the extent to which people find the noise annoying, the report said.
Project developer Windlab said on Monday that construction of the project – which combines 43.5MW of wind, 15MW of solar and a 4MW Tesla battery installation has now been completed for a number of months (since last December), and still not switched on. “However, the project is experiencing delays in completion of its generator performance standards and subsequent registration as a generator,” Windlab said in a statement.
A proposed wind farm near the Cobden airport will not go ahead due to safety concerns and its potential to harm the habitat of the critically endangered southern bent-winged bat. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal ruled on June 3 that no permit would be granted for the Naroghid wind farm following an eight-day hearing.
Wombat Awareness Organisation founder Brigitte Stevens was concerned about the project’s impact on southern hairy-nosed wombats. “By the time they put in all the trenches and the roads, the wombats aren’t going to stand a chance,” Ms Stevens said. “The wombats are just going to move to farming properties and could succumb to disease or stress.”