Council Welcomes Federal Wind Farm Approval
Golden Plains Shire Council has welcomed the announcement that the Federal Government has approved the Golden Plains Wind Farm under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, 1999 (EPBC), following its sign-off of the Environmental Effects Statement.
The Golden Plains Wind Farm is set to be one of the largest wind farms in the southern hemisphere with developer WestWind Energy confirming plans for up to 228 wind turbines in the area around Rokewood. The Federal Government’s announcement follows approval for the project from the State Government’s Minister for Planning in January 2019.
The Golden Plains Wind Farm will be the largest development ever undertaken in Golden Plains, delivering significant economic outcomes to the community and the region, particularly in terms of job creation and infrastructure development.
The Golden Plains Wind Farm is the most significant renewable energy project in Victoria and will help deliver on the state’s renewable energy plan. Golden Plains is an attractive location for investment in wind generation given its suitable land, proximity to the power grid, ready access to workforce and the Port of Geelong, and ideal climatic conditions.
The project will be the third wind farm in Golden Plains, following the Mount Mercer Wind Farm, a 64 turbine project which became operational in 2014; and was also developed by WestWind Energy and later sold to Meridian Energy. The Berrybank Wind Farm by Global Power Generation Australia is currently under construction and when fully developed, will see 79 turbines built in Golden Plains and Corangamite Shires.
Mayor Cr Owen Sharkey says Council is working closely with wind farm developers on the successful delivery of these major infrastructure projects in Golden Plains Shire.
“In our rural communities, these impressive renewable energy developments are transformative for our local economy. WestWind Energy has engaged extensively with Council and local Rokewood residents throughout the development of the project, and Council is confident the Golden Plains Wind Farm will have significant and long-lasting positive effects for the people of Golden Plains Shire.
“WestWind Energy reports that the Golden Plains Wind Farm will create more than 700 jobs during construction and a further 70 ongoing jobs when the wind farm is operational. The wind farm’s Rokewood neighbours will also benefit from free electricity, financial payments and a community fund; with townships across Golden Plains Shire set to receive funding for local projects and infrastructure through community contributions.”
“The wind farms in Golden Plains will deliver unprecedented economic growth in our rural Shire and Council is excited to welcome these projects – and the great benefits they will bring to our communities.”