A COMMUNITY-owned wind turbine in the Central West has moved a step closer following the approval of the Flyers Creek Wind Farm.
Central NSW Renewable Energy Co-operative (CENREC) chairman Patrick Bradbery welcomed the approval yesterday, saying he was delighted that the NSW Planning Department had delivered its determination in favour of construction of the 42 turbine wind farm just west of Blayney.
The approval keeps alive the CENREC dream of a community-owned turbine within the wind farm, paid for by a co-operative of local investors.
“It is hoped that the wind farm will now go ahead and suffer no further delay,” Dr Bradbery said. “The last thing we need now is any weakening of the national Renewable Energy Target just as large scale wind projects are about to reach implementation.
“The project represents an investment of over $195 million for this region.”
Flyers Creek Wind Farm will be the first opportunity in Australia for a local community to own a share in a commercially operated wind farm after CENREC was formed to buy one turbine within the development.
The turbine is expected to be 3MW in size and be able to power 1300 homes.
Dr Bradbery said the proceeds from almost 10 per cent of the electricity used in residences of a town the size of Bathurst or Orange will be coming from renewable source and will stay within the local economy.
“The CENREC co-operative model of community ownership of a regional power resource means that our community is poised to take up a share in this significant development,” he said.
“The benefits flowing to the local community from community ownership of a wind farm turbine will be three-fold – economic, social and environmental.
“Community owners of the turbine will also know that their investment is substantially reducing carbon emissions.
“The renewable energy produced from one turbine will be the equivalent of removing 2000 cars from our roads every year.”