New wind farm for Latrobe Valley by Phil Evans

Environment group Friends of the Earth Melbourne are pleased to see a new wind farm proposed for the Latrobe Valley and say the project shows state efforts to tackle climate change are gaining momentum. The group that led the community campaign for a Victorian Renewable Energy Target says the Delburn Wind Farm is a sign the state’s energy sector is in transition. “Victoria’s energy system is shifting from polluting fossil fuels towards clean renewable energy and it’s good news for efforts to tackle climate change,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth’s climate spokesperson.

According to proponent OSMI, the Delburn Wind Farm would generate enough electricity to power 200,000 homes, cut Victoria’s carbon emissions by 980,000 tonnes of carbon per annum, and operate for 25 years. Leigh Ewbank said the wind farm would support the Victoria government’s obligations to the state Climate Change Act: “The Delburn Wind Farm would help Victoria achieve the legislated target of zero-net emissions by 2050,” said Ewbank.  “Projects like this show Premier Daniel Andrews can afford to be bold and ambitious when setting interim Emissions Reduction Targets.”

Osmi’s proposal will feature a community “co-investment scheme” to allow communities to own a share of the wind farm: “Making the Delburn wind farm available for community co-investment is a fantastic way to enable people in the region to part-own local renewable energy generation, directly benefit from it, and create new climate jobs,” said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.

“This, in turn, will help to keep profits in the local economy. The current energy supply system located in the Latrobe Valley is owned by multinationals. Having an element of local ownership is good for the local community and the people of Victoria. This is an important step in the diversification of the Latrobe Valley economy that is urgently needed. We commend Osmi for bringing this project to Gippsland.”

Friends of the Earth look forward to seeing more information from the proponent about job creation and manufacturing opportunities for Victoria as part of the project.

First published by Melbourne FOE here.