The Latrobe Valley’s first wind project, the Delburn wind farm, has taken another step toward reality, with the public submissions period for the project now underway.
Proposed in pine plantation in the Strzelecki Ranges south of Morwell, the 33 turbine project will overlook the former Hazelwood coal plant, and is expected to power 125,000 Victorian homes with clean renewable energy.
Environment group Friends of the Earth and local advocates welcome the announcement, saying this is a key moment for the community to shape the Latrobe Valley’s renewable energy future.
“The Delburn Wind farm is another piece of the puzzle in the Latrobe Valley’s energy transition, offering a new source of jobs and a reliable source of energy generation for Victoria as the state acts on climate change” said Wendy Farmer, Yes2Renewables Gippsland Campaigner at Friends of the Earth.
Local Gippsland advocates, the Strzelecki Sustainable Futures (SSF) group, have also welcomed the step forward, saying the Delburn wind farm is a key project for the region.
“Strzelecki Sustainable Futures has been paying close attention to the Delburn wind farm’s development and see it as a flagship renewable energy project for the Latrobe Valley that will bring significant economic benefits to the community” said Catheryn Thompson from the Strzelecki Sustainable Futures group.
The project includes options for community co-investment meaning that local community members can invest in and receive financial benefits from the project, with over $1 million pledged by local community members.
“At a time when Gippsland is experiencing the impacts of climate change such as severe storms and floods, the Delburn wind farm is a part of the solution” added Thompson.
Earlier this year, Friends of the Earth visited the proposed site to inspect known koala habitat trees, and are keen to ensure the project’s environmental footprint is kept to an absolute minimum.
The wind farm’s design has undergone a number of adjustments in response to community feedback since being announced in 2019, a sign of best practise renewable energy development.
Friends of the Earth will be tracking the public consultation closely and encourage all community members with an interest in Gippsland’s renewable energy transition to participate. The formal submission period will close on August 18, 2021.
Pat Simons, Yes2Renewables Coordinator
P: 0415 789 961