A PROPOSAL to build a wind farm at Bulgana has been altered by the wind energy company wishing to construct it.
Bulgana Wind Farm Pty Ltd, an Australian subsidiary of global wind energy company Enerfin, has submitted an updated proposal to the Northern Grampians Shire Council.
Council received a planning permit application from the company, to construct the first ever major wind farm development solely located within the municipality in September. Some residents living in Great Western have since expressed concern with the possible impacts of the project, its fate ultimately determined by council.
The altered proposal reduces the number of turbines from 67 to 63 and in doing so, also reduces the length of proposed access tracks within the project properties and requires less removal of trees and other vegetation.
Managing Director of Enerfin, Guillermo Planas, said the company is constantly looking for ways to improve the Bulgana Wind Farm and to minimise potential environmental impacts.
"Our updated proposal has also allowed us to further increase the distance from turbines to houses," he said.
"While of course the boundaries of the private land that will host turbines are the same as they have been for many years, the updated turbine layout means for instance that at the southern end of the project, Great Western is more than four kilometres from the nearest turbine.
"All of the technical studies for the project have been reviewed and updated by the Enerfin team and the expert consultants.
"The improved layout further reduces potential impacts to birds and other species."
Mr Planas said Enerfin continues to be particularly conscious of the land condition and existing soil erosion and will use a range of proven methods to control water flow and erosion during construction and operation.
"Enerfin will also work to ensure that local knowledge and experience forms part of the detailed project design and construction program," he said.
"Enerfin is also aware that this updated proposal was submitted to council towards the end of the year and in the period approaching the Christmas break, therefore the public notification period will be extended to four weeks to give people the opportunity to review the proposal."
Mr Planas said he realised significant projects such as the proposed Bulgana wind farm can be complex.
"We remain at the disposal of the general community and individual members of the public to discuss the project at any time and to ensure that clear information is available," he said.
"We are here at all times to talk to people and provide clear, factual information to help the community in fully understanding this exciting project that will bring clean energy and economic benefits to the area."