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Wind Farms in the Canberra Region?

By fraser12 - 15 December 2005 22

I live on Tarago Road and we have recently had a couple of people out from Renewable Power Ventures Pty Ltd. They told us that the proposal is for around 60 turbines from Taylor’s creek road and back towards Bungendore on the hills. Now the problem we have is that we will be only 2.5kms from the last 25 or so. And only 1.5 kms from the sub station. And to make matters worse is that our block of 40 acres is mainly on the hill directly opposite the last 25 towers, and our view just happens to be the hills that the turbines will be on. So we will be able to see them from our deck, dinning room, lounge room; drive way, and the paddocks. So really we are not going to be able to get away from them.

Now they’re not that ugly, but to have them in our site 24/7 is just a bit much to take. I have also talked to a real estate agent that sells around this area, and he didn’t know anything about it.

Were not against wind farms, but I believe that they should be in more of a remote area. And also were are doing our part for the environment as we are only on Solar power, so we are not connected to mains.

Does anyone have any further information on this subject?


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22 Responses to
Wind Farms in the Canberra Region?
redneck_ninja 11:51 am 16 Dec 05

There’s a new windfarm development at Snowy Plains just north of Berridale next to the Kosciuszko National Park. There’s also talk of a 200MW development down the Monaro Highway between Cooma and Nimmitabel. Locals are pretty antsy about the whole idea, considering the scenic beauty of the Monaro plains.

loadedog 10:52 am 16 Dec 05

Yeah yeah, wind is not ‘the’ solution, it’s ‘one’ solution, as in a part of the solution, and from what I’ve heard it’s a hell of a lot more viable than nuclear.

A vested interest perhaps but some thoughts from a distinguished Australian scientist (and President of the Australian Conservation Foundation.

‘In the USA, direct subsidies to nuclear energy totalled $115 billion between 1947 and 1999, with a further $145 billion in indirect subsidies. In contrast, subsidies to wind and solar during the same period amounted to only $5.5 billion. That’s wind and solar together. During the first 15 years of development, nuclear subsidies amounted to $15.30 per kWh generated. The comparable figure for wind energy was 46 cents per kWh during its first 15 years of development.’

He also said:

‘The fourth, related, problem is that high grade uranium ores are comparatively scarce. The best estimate is that the known high grade ores could supply the present demand for 40 or 50 years. So if we expanded the nuclear contribution to global electricity supply from the present level, about 15 per cent, to replace all the coal-fired power stations, the resources would only last about a decade or so. There are large deposits of lower grade ores, but these require much more conventional energy for extraction and processing, producing much more greenhouse pollution.’

Read the rest (if you want) at:

bonfire 10:23 am 16 Dec 05

windfarms are an excellent idea and id be happy to have one out the front of my place. the majestic industrial triffids turning to face the wind like giant sunflowers and whirring away, making power for you and you and you as well.

i dont regard them as a blight on any environment, how are they any more intrusive than a farmhouse or road ? they will enahnce your view.

the bird death issue is a furphy. the research has been truly over-egged by opponents. they dont make that much noise either. i was staying in a house in herringsand with windmills less than a km away. unless you got within about 100 feet of them you couldnt hear them.

the power argument is an intersting one. no i dont think they will totally replace conventional power generation, but every little bit helps. i am convinced that if you took advantage of these types of installations then you could power towns and areas like tarago, collector, goulburn even.

if you truly feel that these wind turbines will ruin your view try and look at it another way. sometimes we all have to make a sacrifice for the greater good.

Maelinar 9:56 am 16 Dec 05

Thinking outside the square, wind power has been used in the past to power such things as grinding wheat into flour etc.

To say that you wish to use wind power under the sole auspice of generating electricity so you can run an engine that will grind wheat into flour seems to be defeating the purpose, and introducing somewhat irrelevant levels of control.

If we were to think smartly on this issue and not grind down into the monoculture of wind farm = electricity, but expand the idea into using the wind to power alternative structures, such as pumps, turbines, shafts and all manner of rotating things that don’t necessarily need to be run all day, every day (which is what electricity is really good for), then I might consider that we were moving forward.

As it is, I agree that not a lot of thought has gone into the process of wind farms and the functions they provide since they were first conceived as a viable alternative all those years ago.

johnboy 9:36 am 16 Dec 05

OYM, fluid markets are not magical, they do work.

Having said that transmission losses are probably going to work against major plants in the absolute middle of nowhere.

What you will see however is industry setting up near to where new plants are built to get the cheaper guaranteed juice.

Micro-power generation combined with the ability to sell power back into the grid could well see all sort of cool things happening.

But I’ll bet you whatever you want to bet that we don’t run out of power.

If fossile fuels go up in price then electricity will rise in price and alternatives will become economical.

Also energy efficiency will become more attractive.

what we really need is sane electricity pricing to consumers.

so once again gutless politicians become the problem.

OpenYourMind 9:27 am 16 Dec 05

Ralph, I don’t know a lot about the setup requirements for a nuke plant, but I’d be betting that locating one in the middle of the desert would present some pretty significant logistical and technical challenges.

Once again you have way too much faith in the magical market. The market just wants the cheapest power it can get, the dirty and short term nature of it’s production becomes no concern for the consumer in this model. Having a Govt that looks to the long term – as Denmark has done with it’s 50% renewable energy goal will place that country in a very advantageous position in the future.

WRT batteries, as I said, the Tumut station uses the water in the dam, pumps and turbines and gravity as an almighty battery. Coal plants run flat out 24/7, and in off peak times, water is pumped to a higher dam. If you check out the wiki article referenced by JohnBoy, you’ll note that the Danish wind farms are producing relatively consistent electricity.
You are thinking of Duracels, but there’s all sorts of other ways of storing energy. Conversion to hydrogen and storage of hydrogen being one example.

Ralph 9:05 am 16 Dec 05

We’ve got the Northern Territory, and Maralinga. We can put nuke plants out there.

Just let the market sort itself out. This windpower is only just viable at the moment because of government handouts.

If you think we can store energy from wind farms in batteries you’re dreaming. That’s one mighty fucking big battery. Maybe we can try and harness the energy from lightning bolts too…..

johnboy 8:42 am 16 Dec 05

I’d heard the bird death line was (ahem) a canard.

Bird’s being no more suicidal than most and possessing excellent eyesite.

Also newer turbines are finally actually creating more energy over their life than it took to build them which was not always the case.

At the moment my understanding is they only want up to 5% of the power from renewables, so we’re not talking about base load which still requires something bloody hot to make steam from.

anyway you think we’ve got Nimby issues with Wind turbines???

wait till they want to put a nuke in your back yard.

The wikipedia has an excellent piece which covers a lot of the issues.

OpenYourMind 8:35 am 16 Dec 05

Thumper, you’ve got people complaining about windmills ruining the view from their verandahs. Just tell me what hope will you ever have of convincing any of the so called NIMBY’s that a nuke plant in their backyard is a good thing.

I won’t get into the whole peakoil thing, but even the most optimistic estimates see fossil fuels running out before 2050. So, I totally agree that big R&D on future energy sources is needed, coupled with reduced consumption. Sadly, quite the opposite is happening. America has just topped it’s record for oil consumption on a daily basis and China is embracing the automobile on a staggering scale.

The big thing about a lot of our consumption, particularly energy consumption, is that it is increasing exponentially.

OpenYourMind 8:18 am 16 Dec 05

Here’s a Danish windpower site.

A little biased perhaps, but gives you an idea of windpower in Denmark. The 20% figure seems to be agreed to by other sources.

One of the arguments against the windmills is that they are noisy and I’m sure some are, but I’ve stood next to some large windmills and been amazed how quiet they are.

Thumper 8:15 am 16 Dec 05

Wind farming is not the solution to our energy problems. As far back as I can remember, which is the late 60s, its been muted as the new solution.

Now its 2005 and the technology really hasn’t advanced much. When are all these alternate, unproductive energy ideas going to be ditched?

They just don’t work well enough.

Instead we need to be consuming less energy. Wind farms are not going to make one iota of difference to global warming as they simply can’t produce enough energy to meet demands.

I n my opinion we need massive R&D from governments into nuclear energy.

And to those who think it’s too dangerous, well, maybe it is, but compared to the future forecasts regarding global warming for the planet we’re all going die anyway, especially if you happen to live in a coastal area.

OpenYourMind 8:06 am 16 Dec 05

Denmark is having a red hot go at producing a lot of their electricity by renewable means – particularly windpower. It’s certainly a lot more feasible than solar. It’s amazing when you fly into copenhagen and see the windfarms out in the ocean.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way to store up the electricity for peak times. For example, just look at the snowy scheme – the dams act as giant batteries when the Tumut station pumps the water back up into a higher dam.

I gather the birdkill issue is a problem, but is also being considered in future windmill designs. And as has been pointed out in the past, global climate change is gonna kill a hell of a lot more birds!

Ralph 7:24 am 16 Dec 05

Not In My BackYard.

Given that wind farms are one solution to global warming…

Um, actually they’re not. They will never produce enough power to start with, and for every set of wind turbines you still need baseload power. Wind turbines do not produce baseload power (due to the unreliability of the wind).

dusty 11:07 pm 15 Dec 05

loadedog, you should have a beer at the Loaded Dog Pub in Tarago.
Anyway Fraser, I hate this windfarm lobby crap, they have gone into damage control because the massive destruction of local bird populations have rightly alerted many residents to be wary of their claims of ‘minimal impact’. They have employed spin doctors and ‘paid’ research to lobby their views and have deluged the web with their lies. Wind farms are built in natural wind corridors, which also happen to be, of course, bird corridors. The Wind Farm Lobby have almost succesfully eradicated critical material publicly available, but there is still some out there. I include the Australian Best Practise guidelines (quite detailed) ( and an interesting U.S article that you should peruse http:/
Stick that up your ‘visitors’ Cheers

loadedog 8:47 pm 15 Dec 05

I’ve been to Tarago and I’m afraid to say it’d fit my definition of remote. I think it’d be pretty hard to find any area in Australia without a nimby within earshot. Fact is the wind farms have to go in the windiest area nearest the grid. Given that wind farms are one solution to global warming, a problem that will (and already is) affecting the whole globe, your concerns about the view from your veranda seem rather trivial. Learn to love them, that’s my advice.

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