GPWF Project Update 12

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Welcome to Issue 12 of the Golden Plains Wind Farm Newsletter. As we head into a ‘COVID normal’ 2021, we are pleased to be able to re-commence our engagement activities in the local community. This includes our Pop-Up offices at the Rokewood Hall, which will be held on the first Thursday of the month, commencing from Thursday 4th February. We have placed a list of the Pop-Up office dates on the noticeboard in the front of the Rokewood Take Away Shop, and we will continue to advertise project updates and events on this board in the future. We will also provide ongoing project updates in the Rokewood Newsletter and on our website: We are thrilled to have received a positive outcome on the application that was made to the High Court, to appeal the decision in relation to the Supreme Court challenge against the Victorian Minister of Planning. The case challenged the Minister’s decision on the granting of the Golden Plains Wind Farm permit. The challenge was unsuccessful and the application to appeal was dismissed. This was the last avenue to contest this decision, and we are very happy to move forward with developing this project which will provide local employment opportunities for the surrounding community. We remain optimistic that with all things progressing according to plan that we will be commencing construction in late 2021. We wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a joyous holiday season, and a well-deserved break after a challenging year. We are very much looking forward to working with each of you and seeing you around the community in 2021.

GOLDEN PLAINS WIND FARM INDICATIVE TIMELINE *Timeline is indicative and represents best case scenario and is subject to change.

2005 - 2015

Pre-Feasibility & Wind Monitoring Landholder Commitment & Option Agreement. Site Boundary Confirmed. Wind Monitoring Indicative Turbine Layout.

2016 - 2017

Project Feasibility Optimisation of Turbine Layout. Environmental Studies. Planning Studies. Grid Studies. Cultural Heritage. Visual Impact Studies.


$10,000 of local funding awarded! The Community Reference Group (CRG) met in November to review the applications for the recent round of community benefit funding. This is the third round of funding evaluated by the CRG, who have been diligent in continuing to meet virtually during the COVID period. We would like to sincerely thank the CRG members for reviewing all applications and providing recommendations for funding. The successful contenders and associated projects in the most recent round of funding are as follows: Corindhap Hall

Solar Sensor Security Light and Trees


Corindhap Recreation Reserve

Toilet Roof


Leigh Group of Fire Brigades

Security System Upgrade


Rokewood Corindhap Sporting Club

Canteen Equipment


Rokewood Kindergarten

Outdoor Blinds


Rokewood Tennis Club

Facility Improvements


Since 2019, the Golden Plains Wind Farm fund has distributed over $35,000 to support a wide range of local projects and community groups. We are looking forward to working with the community in 2021 to support important community initiatives. Keep an eye on our website for updates on the next round of community benefit funding, application forms and to view meeting minutes from the CRG meetings.

2017 - 2018

2018 - 2021

Environment & Planning Approval Planning Permit Application. Community Consultation. Environmental Referrals. Environment Effect Statement.

Detailed Design & Securing Finance Design & Drawings. Project Costing. Securing Investment. Pre-construction approvals. Grid connection agreement.

2021 - 2045

Construction & Operation Ground Breaking. Civil & Electrical Works. Turbine Installation & Commissioning.

COMMUNITY REFERENCE GROUP: 2021-2023 PURPOSE OF THE CRG: Enhance communication between the Golden Plains Wind Farm and the local community. Capture community feedback & share project information. Foster positive relationships & encourage community partnerships. Provide an open forum for discussion of any questions or concerns. Provide recommendations on the allocation of the community benefit fund.

The Golden Plains Wind Farm Community Reference Group (CRG) is a group of 8 community members who act as an advisory body for the Golden Plains Wind Farm and provide recommendations on the allocation of the Community Benefit Fund to ensure community feedback is considered during the distribution of financial benefits. The term for membership is two years, which will be expiring for the current group in May 2021. This term has flown by, and we will be formally calling for applications for new members in the coming months. We would love to hear from anyone within the local community who would like to be involved in this important group. Contact us by phone: (03) 5421 9999 or email:


Complete Recruit new, local Engagement Manager (to commence in January 2021). Now Finalise tender process for the Balance of Plant (BoP) contractor and turbine supplier. Finalisation of electrical design. Next Appoint wind turbine supplier and BoP contractor. Negotiate a grid connection agreement with AEMO. Secure project finance. Updates and information We will provide updates on our website:

WHAT HAPPENS TO WIND TURBINES AT THE END OF THEIR DESIGN LIFE? While we say a wind turbine has an operating life of 25 to 30 years, that does not necessarily mean it is then destined for the scrap heap. Just like a car with a new motor, a wind turbine can be refurbished to extend its operating life. Some of the first wind farms, built in the early 1980’s, have continually been repaired and restored and are still operating today. For these wind farms, the cost of upkeep can be considerably less than the cost of new turbines, making these sites profitable, despite using outdated turbine technology. Increasingly, due to the advancement in technology and reduction in costs, it often makes sense to repower wind farms with new wind turbines or develop new sites. This is completed either by replacing the old turbines with new turbine technology on an existing wind farm site, or decommissioning turbines on an old site entirely and building on a new site somewhere else. Looking at the current world-wide fleet of turbines, only 20 per cent are over 10 years old and just 2 per cent are over 20 years old. This is due to the rapid expansion of using wind energy as a power source in recent years. Given that the average life expectancy of a wind turbine is 25-30 years, only a relatively small number have reached the end of their useful life. But what happens to old turbines when they are removed? The outdated turbines aren’t necessarily finished operating. The international market for second-hand turbines is growing, where demand, (particularly in developing nations) allows turbines to continue to provide clean energy beyond their design life. The final option for old turbines is full decommissioning. During decommissioning turbines are broken down into their components, where valuable parts are refurbished or recycled. Between 70 and 80 per cent of a turbine is steel, 5 to 15 per cent is cast iron, with the remaining materials being fibreglass, resin, plastic, and valuable metals such as copper. These components make the scrap value of a turbine is quite significant. With the turbines removed other components such as foundations and buried cable are also removed to below ground level, unless agreed otherwise with the landowner. Above ground infrastructure such as transmission lines and substations are also removed and recycled. Existing farm roads and crane pads can be removed, although these are often considered beneficial by the landowner and are retained.

CONTACT US Phone: 03 5421 9999 Email: Facebook: @westwindenergy

Office 4 Nexus Centre, 17 Goode St, Gisborne Vic 3437 Phone: (03) 5421 9999

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