Neighbours to the New-England based Thunderbolt Energy Hub will receive annual payments per turbine by distance to residential dwelling, project developer Neoen has announced.
A distance-based sliding scale will be used to determine payment amounts made to neighbours. A neighbour will receive $3,000 per turbine 2 kilometers away, $2,000 per turbine 2.5 kilometers away, etc.
These payments can add up and become a significant source of income for residents with multiple turbines nearby. For neighbouring farms, this may represent a means to diversify their income and weather droughts and other climate-change related challenges to agriculture.
Critically, Neoen has been very clear that these payments do not in any way preclude neighbours from voicing any opposition or concerns with the project they might have. This is key to ensure transparency and trust throughout the development and construction phases of the project.
In addition to the neighbour payments, Neoen have announced a community fund that will pour $200,000 annually (based on project size) into local community projects.
RE-Alliance applauds Neoen for their neighbour payment scheme and the community fund which will create direct positive impacts in the region. We're also impressed to see a clear, simple structure for the payments that's easy to communicate and understand.
The Thunderbolt Energy Hub will become part of the New England Renewable Energy Zone, set to host 8000 MW of new transmission capacity and create thousands of jobs.
The billions in renewable energy investment bound for the region means the community can have security in the knowledge there will be jobs and economic opportunities in their region for decades to come.
More on Thunderbolt Energy Hub community benefits can be found here and at thunderboltenergyhub.com.au