A company hoping to build a 50-70 turbine wind farm near Warracknabeal hopes to have settled on boundaries for the project by the end of 2020
WestWind Energy has been talking with Yarriambiack Shire Council and state government about the proposal for several years, though is yet to submit a planning permit application.
A spokeswoman said. "Wind farm planning requirements in Victoria typically include a Transport Management Plan that is developed in consultation with the local shire and VicRoads and often includes upgrades to some local roads, which ultimately benefits the community.
"When the project boundary is determined, we will then be able to meet with surrounding farmers to understand their priorities to help inform the wider community benefit program. We tend not to adopt a 'one size fits all approach' to this; we prefer to talk to the families involved and develop a community benefit program that responds to local needs."
The farm WestWind is proposing to build would cover 5000 hectares, have a capacity of 300 megawatts and generate 920 gigawatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power 185,000 homes.
The spokeswoman said the company would likely update this information in the next few months "as we refine the scope and scale of the project and talk to the community".
She said people with questions could call 5421 9999 or email: email@example.com.
"We are also going to be in Warracknabeal over the coming few months and plan to hold community drop-in sessions (where COVID-19 restrictions allow), to discuss project plans and benefits with the local community," she said.
"We are happy to meet 1:1 with appropriate distancing measures in place and will be door knocking in the local area."
Once operational WestWind, based in Gisborne in Victoria's Macedon Ranges, plans to establish a community fund of up to $15,000 a year for local projects.
Yarriambiack Shire mayor Graeme Massey said the project was all but certain to go ahead.
"Provided they can get their finances and access to the electricity grid. they haven't met with us yet this year," he said.
"You only get a certain amount of time from your planning to your building, and if they do it too prematurely they will have to go through the process again. I think they are holding fire until they have everything in place, and then they will come to us."
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