In a key moment for Victoria’s transition to renewable energy, the Latrobe Valley’s first wind farm has been approved by Victorian planning minister Richard Wynne MP.
Once constructed, the Delburn wind farm will be situated in pine plantation south of Morwell and overlook the retired Hazelwood coal fired power station and mine site.
Building the project is expected to create up to 186 new full-time equivalent jobs during construction, 24 ongoing jobs over the the operating life of the project, and power an estimated 135,000 Victorian homes with clean renewable energy.
The announcement comes one day before the fifth anniversary of the closure of the Hazelwood coal fired power station.
“The Latrobe Valley has a proud history of power generation and with the Delburn wind farm now approved the region will soon be helping power the state with renewable energy” said Wendy Farmer, Friends of the Earth Gippsland campaigner.
With the Yallourn coal fired power station set to close by 2028 at the latest, projects like the Delburn wind farm are important pieces of the region’s renewable energy transition.
“The Delburn wind farm marks the beginning of an important new industry for the Latrobe Valley and is an opportunity to create new careers for young people in renewable energy” said Wendy Farmer.
The Delburn wind farm was first proposed in March 2019, and has undergone an extensive consultation process with neighbouring communities of Thorpdale, Darlimurla, Boolarra, Yinnar and Mirboo North. Importantly, it includes a comprehensive community benefit sharing scheme that ensures income generated from the wind farm is shared with neighbouring communities.
As we all witness intensifying climate impacts, projects like the Delburn wind farm will make a significant contribution to decarbonising Victoria’s electricity system avoiding an estimated 590,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year.
The project’s approval is a huge win for community members who have been campaigning for the Latrobe Valley to seize the opportunities in renewable energy.
Trevor Hoare, Boolarra resident and member of local group Strzelecki Sustainable Futures said “This is a win for our children, and shows the Latrobe Valley can be part of the urgent transition we need to make if we're going to have any chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change."
Friends of the Earth is proud to have campaigned alongside community organisations the Strzelecki Sustainable Futures and the Latrobe Valley Sustainability Group in support of the project, and will continue to campaign for Gippsland’s renewable energy transformation.