The Coonooer Bridge Wind Farm has been approved by the Buloke Shire Council. The project is the first in the country to include neighbouring landholders as owners and the first approval in the State in over 2 years.
Coonooer Bridge Wind Farm Pty Ltd director Luke Osborne said that “Twelve months ago the project set out to take a new approach. We wanted to create a fair and open relationship with all landholders around the site, not just the landowners who would lease land for turbines. We met a great community who were prepared to listen and work with us. They have made the project earn its place in this region.”
The Shire considered a small number of submissions in the planning process. The Council applied an extensive list on conditions on the approval including the requirement for a comprehensive traffic management plan and a ban on the use of aviation lighting. The approval is for five turbines with a blade-tip height of up to 150m.
The project and the local landholders have designed an annual grant program aiming to support community initiatives in the Coonooer-Yeungroon region. The program will offer up to $15,000 per annum once the project is operational. A $4000 pilot of the program will be conducted in coming months. Eligibility criteria and guidelines can be found on this website.
The project is now seeking a major corporate consumer of electricity to buy the output. The project will be operational approximately 1 year this key contract has been secured. It will supply enough electricity for around 10,900 homes; enough electricity to supply the equivalent of St Arnaud, Charlton, Wedderburn and Inglewood.