One of Australia’s largest wind farms is a step closer to construction as a planning permit has been approved for the Golden Plains Wind Farm in Victoria.
The wind farm, about 60 kilometres north-west of Geelong, will generate nearly 3,000 gigawatt hours of electricity per year – enough to power more than 400,000 homes.
Once complete the $1.5 billion project will span up to 17,000 hectares and stop more than 3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted to the atmosphere each year.
The project aims to increasing the turbine-free buffer area to ensure breeding wetlands used by native birdlife are adequately protected.
The decision reflects advice from an independent expert planning panel and may result in a reduction of up to 47 turbines, from 228 to 181, with the number depending on how the proponent chooses to meet environmental restrictions.
The project must now be considered by the federal government for approval.
Proponent WestWind Energy will take about four years to build the project if approved.
The Victorian government has increased Victoria’s renewable energy target to 50 per cent by 2030, putting more clean energy into the grid, increasing investment and driving down energy prices.
Acting Minister for Planning Lily D’Ambrosio said the project will also create hundreds of local jobs.