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Media Release: Moyne Shire launches nation-first wind fund

Moyne dreams big about joint community fund 

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MEDIA RELEASE: Wind energy industry call on Andrews govt to set science-based Emissions Reduction Targets

A coalition of ten leading wind energy companies and supportive organisations have today released a joint statement calling on the Andrews government to set science-based Emissions Reductions Targets that help limit global warming to 1.5C.

The statement comes as the state government enters the final week of its decision-making process on Victoria’s first interim targets to cut emissions across the whole economy. 

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MEDIA RELEASE: Taylor’s ill-judged coal stunt ignores his region’s wind energy success story

After years of ignoring the economic and environmental benefits of wind farms in his own back yard, Minister for Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor’s appearance at a coal mine in the midst of a bushfire crisis is deeply cynical, the Australian Wind Alliance said today.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Crookwell rejection goes against the grain

Monday 28th October

The refusal of the Crookwell 3 wind farm is a blow to the local Crookwell community but won’t stop wind’s progress in New South Wales, the Australian Wind Alliance said today.

“This is a disappointing decision. It shows the NSW regulations place undue weight on visual amenity at a time when wind farms can be contributing so much to farmers, local communities and clean energy generation,” said Andrew Bray, AWA’s National Coordinator.

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Poles and wires - the solution for energy security and regional prosperity

Poles and wires: the solution for grid security and regional prosperity

22 AUGUST 2019

A critical new report from the energy market operator shows that old coal-fired power stations and the lack of transmission connecting energy resources in the country are the largest risks to our grid, the Australian Wind Alliance (AWA) said today.

AWA National Coordinator, Andrew Bray had this to say:

“The market operator’s report highlights the costs of federal inaction on energy and climate change policy. 

“What we have now is an ageing grid, with failing coal plants and inadequate transmission to tap into Australia’s vast renewable resources.”

“Our energy minister has no plan. Angus Taylor has not met with the COAG energy council since December. He is missing in action, while our grid heads for blackouts this summer. 

“After six years in power, this is a mess of the government’s own making.

“The cost of the government’s willful refusal to plan for a changing energy landscape is blackouts and higher power bills. Higher power bills for families struggling to put food on the table, and blackouts which put added stress on our economy.”

“By investing in the poles and wires that connect new wind, solar and storage projects, the government can fill the gap left by failing coal-burning plants and keep the lights on for all Australians.

“Every day around Australia, we are making electricity with wind, water and sun. We can have a 24/7 renewable energy powered system that delivers cheap energy and the jobs of today.”

“When clunky coal-fired power stations buckle under the heat and fail, renewables like wind and solar, backed by battery and pumped hydro storage, come to the rescue.”

“Regional areas are ready to tap into the jobs and community benefits of renewables and storage projects that can help fix this crisis.”

“Angus Taylor needs to start listening to bodies like Infrastructure Australia when they call for investment in ‘energy infrastructure to chase a massive market of the future.’”

“In the Victorian blackouts of January this year, wind and hydro energy from Tasmania were being pumped across the Bass Strait for almost the whole day - stopping more than 100,000 homes from losing power.” 

“Investing in higher capacity transmission opens up Australia’s cornucopia of renewable resources. This is how we can create a cheaper, more flexible and resilient grid which ready for the challenges of the 21st century.” 

Please contact Matthew Curry, the Australian Wind Alliance’s Communications Coordinator on 0407 914 848 for more information or to arrange an interview.

Australian Energy Market Operator - NEM Electricity Statement of Opportunities report August 2019 


Reliability of wind energy not threatened by historical SA blackout case

Andrew Bray on ABC TV next to Angus Taylor:

Andrew Bray on ABC Australia-wide radio:

Reliability of wind energy not threatened by historical SA blackout case.

7 AUGUST 2019

“Wind energy is one of Australia’s most reliable energy sources and was not to blame for the 2016 South Australian blackout.” The Australian Wind Alliance said today.

Court proceedings by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) over the 2016 South Australian blackout have no bearing on today’s reliable, renewables-rich energy grid.

“A once in 50-year storm saw power line and transmission damage around the state, including fossil fuel generation failure and an overloaded interconnector with Victoria. The case is a very technical issue, relevant mainly to the 2016 energy grid.”

“Wind energy a reliable, growing part of Australia’s energy grid and will even overtake brown coal energy generation in the next 2-3 years.”

Australian Wind Alliance National Coordinator, Andrew Bray had this to say: “This is a historical case that looks back at how the market operator worked with wind farms three years ago. It doesn’t reflect the way the system works today,” 

“Since the blackout, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) have implemented 19 separate actions to enhance power system security and improve the way they manage catastrophic storms like the one that hit South Australia on September 2016.

“Wind turbines are very reliable hardware but AEMO had no requirement for wind turbine software to manage multiple system faults in a short period of time. AEMO have since rectified that requirement.”

“It’s fair to say that AEMO has been on a learning curve. Once-in-a-lifetime storms such as the one we witnessed in South Australia three years ago are something grid operators around the world are now having to plan for.”

“Today, our ageing coal fleet is proving increasing unreliable, already suffering 50 breakdowns in 2019, while continuing to pump climate-damaging emissions into our atmosphere that fuel storms like the one we saw in South Australia.”

“If we are serious about building a resilient, cost-effective grid, the government should be investing in new transmission infrastructure, like an interconnector between SA and NSW, and getting serious about a clear plan to phase out coal power.”

Please contact Matthew Curry, the Australian Wind Alliance’s Communications Coordinator on 0407 914 848 for more information, or to arrange an interview.

Regional benefits as work starts on community-boosting wind power project

Regional benefits galore are in store for Corangamite & Golden Plains Shires, Geelong’s manufacturing and Ballarat education as construction begins at Victoria’s newest wind farm at Berrybank.

Mayors of both Corangamite and Golden Plains praised the project so far.

“It’s a good model… there are benefits to landowners and community as well,” stated Neil Trotter, Corangamite Shire's Mayor.

Owen Sharkey Mayor of Golden Plains highlighted the benefits to the local community noting: “On a grassroots level it’s fantastic to see people being engaged with that. It’s also seeing the benefits of that with money coming down into community groups and community assets. The wind farms themselves need credit...the journey has really brought the community along.”

Training centre for renewable jobs

Ballarat’s role as a training centre for industries of the future and Geelong’s manufacturing future took an important step forward with the official construction commencement of the Berrybank Wind Farm. The turbine hub assembly plant at the former Ford Factory will produce and assemble components for 43 Vestas wind turbines to be installed at Berrybank, creating advanced manufacturing jobs and traineeships. 

In Ballarat the development of Federation University’s Asia Pacific Renewable Energy Training Centre will be supported by Global Power Generation, the company building the 181 MW, 43 turbine Berrybank Wind Farm in between Cressy and Lismore, 60km south of Ballarat. The Centre began training wind turbine technicians at its Grant Street campus this year.

Jobs for regional Victoria

With the backing of Victoria’s Renewable Energy Auction Scheme, the Berrybank Wind Farm is expected to create 213 jobs in the region. Priority for much of the work will be given to businesses from the local area around Berrybank.

“Wind farms provide long term jobs today, in an industry that will only grow into the future,” stated Andrew Bray, Australian Wind Alliance’s National Coordinator.

“This manufacturing plant will see wind turbine assembly return to Victoria for the first time in a decade.”

“It’s a great opportunity to utilise Geelong’s long-standing manufacturing capabilities.”

“We are particularly pleased to see the project prioritise traineeships and apprenticeships to ensure that young people can get a start in this exciting industry,” concluded Andrew.

Community benefits

For communities closer to the project in the Corangamite and Golden Plains Shires, a range of programs are in place to help share the financial benefits more widely throughout the community. These programs include:

  • Annual Community Development Grants for the 25-year life of the project
  • A one-off grant of $3 million for community projects in the Corangamite and Golden Plains Shires
  • Community solar program to install solar PV or solar hot water on community buildings and local residential households

These programs are in addition to lease payments to farmers hosting turbines on their property and agreed payments to wind farm neighbours within a two-kilometre radius of the turbines.

“This impressive range of community schemes will see millions of dollars pumped into urgent local community projects that might otherwise be neglected.”

“We estimate there are now over 50 long-term wind farm community funds around the country, contributing over $2.5 million every year to vital local community work.”

“Local communities are working together with wind farm companies and local councils to determine what needs doing in the local area and getting the work done.” Concluded Andrew.

Sharing benefits a feature of new wind farms


Generous benefit sharing programs announced this week by two new Victorian wind farms show that community demands are being answered, community advocacy group, the Australian Wind Alliance said.

Two new wind farm projects were announced this week - the Delburn Wind Farm, a 300 megawatt project near the Hazelwood coal mine, and the 700 MW Hexham Wind Farm, 15 km from Mortlake. Both projects share financial benefits with neighbours and surrounding community through structured cash payments, community funds and investment opportunities.

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Victorian Renewable Energy Target: Jobs and affordable electricity at stake

Politicians must back the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) if they want to create jobs and cut electricity bills for the state, says Australian Wind Alliance National Coordinator Andrew Bray.

New research by not-for-profit Environment Victoria shows that keeping the VRET policy and strengthening it with a guarantee to construct at least 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy a year between 2019 and 2024 would create 12,200 new jobs.

“The fate of the VRET, which would see 40 per cent of Victoria’s energy coming from renewable sources by 2025, hangs in the balance at the 2018 state election,” Mr Bray said.

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Yass Valley Council ignores proven community benefits of wind

Media Release: Yass Valley Council ignores proven community benefits of wind

The Australian Wind Alliance has expressed disappointment with Yass Valley Council’s decision to vote against the proven economic and social benefits their own residents are deriving from wind power.

Last night Yass Valley Council passed a motion opposing further wind farms in the region - a motion in conflict with their stated position of being “supportive of renewable energy in general”.

The decision, coming on the heels of a previously rescinded motion by the Council to ban wind farms, will be a blow to the many businesses and residents who are already benefiting from wind power - and those who are looking forward to the jobs and investment opportunities clean energy will bring to the region for years to come.

“Wind farms are driving much-needed economic growth in regional communities, and bringing proven social benefits to rural areas like Yass Valley so Council’s motion will be greatly disappointing for local residents,” said Andrew Bray, National Coordinator of the Australian Wind Alliance.

“We’ve been speaking to local business owners today who are stunned at the decision. From what we’ve seen in neighbouring Upper Lachlan Shire, we expect construction of wind projects alone to bring tens of millions of dollars into the region - why would you turn your back on that?

“Wind power is also driving a positive, clean energy future for our children. This motion represents a disappointing step backwards for Yass.”

The Australian Wind Alliance has calculated that Southern Tablelands communities have received more than $1 million in Community Enhancement Funding from wind farm projects to date. There are currently three approved wind farms in the area, which could see an estimated $1 million delivered each year through additional Community Enhancement Funding.

Across regional Australia, wind farm construction has delivered an economic boost of almost $4 billion.

The Australian Wind Alliance estimates $10.5 billion could be delivered to host communities across the 25-year life span of Australia’s existing wind farms and wind farms under construction.

For further detailed information and case studies on the community benefits of wind farms throughout Australia, please visit the Australian Wind Alliance’s website.

For interviews with Andrew Bray from the Australian Wind Alliance, please contact Siobhan Isherwood on 0401 976 251.

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