Golden Plains Wind Farm Project Update 13

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NEWSLETTER MARCH / 2021 / ISSUE #13 WELCOME & PROJECT UPDATE Welcome to Issue 13 of the Golden Plains Wind Farm Newsletter. It has been a busy start to the year, with a significant development being the submission of our planning permit amendment application to the Minister for Planning. The proposed amendments to our permit include: • An approval for a modified site plan for turbines and all associated infrastructure that complies with the brolga breeding buffer permit condition; • A reduction in Wind Turbine Generators from 228 to 215; • An increase in the turbine rotor diameter from 150m to 165m, while still maintaining the total height of 230m; • A slight amendment to the Brolga Monitoring and Compensation Plan condition, so that it will be more straightforward for GPWFM to facilitate successful delivery during implementation; and • Improved clarity on a permit condition relating to surface water levels during flood events. These amendments will allow us to ensure all infrastructure complies with the Brolga buffers and will allow us to take advantage of new advancements in wind turbine technology. We have spent the last few weeks discussing the changes with the Department and with the broader community via our open days. We are pleased that the feedback has generally been quite positive and we thank everyone who attended or provided feedback. There will be a public notice period in the coming weeks which will provide an opportunity for the community to submit feedback on the application. Once we are informed of when the notice period will occur, we will ensure that this is communicated to you. For further information, updated photo montages and to view the documents relating to our Permit Amendment Application, please visit These documents will likely change during the coming weeks, as they are updated with additional information requested by the Department prior to the public notice period. As always, we invite you to get in touch with us with any questions you have about the Golden Plains Wind Farm project. We are looking forward to working with each of you and seeing you around the community in the coming months.

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.

Welcome to Matt Hustwaite!

Our new Engagement Manager, Matt Hustwaite, recently joined us and many of you will have already met him as he has spent time in Rokewood and working the phones. Matt joins WestWind from Regional Roads Victoria, where he managed a funding program for local road upgrades such as Cressy-Pitfield Road. Having lived near the Waubra Wind Farm as it was constructed, Matt appreciates the changes that Rokewood and the surrounding communities are experiencing. Matt is looking forward to assisting the community with all wind farm related matters and invites you to call him on 0422 124 871 whenever you need.


It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to Project Engineer Matt Green and Head of Administration & Engagement Erin Gray. Matt and Erin will both be familiar faces to you, and they have made valuable contributions to the Golden Plains Wind Farm throughout their time with us. We would like to thank Matt and Erin for their commitment, and we wish them all the best for their futures!

• Balance of Plant Contractor: We will be publicly announcing our preferred civil and electrical contractor in the coming months. We are currently working to familiarise contractors with the Project site and design. This process includes some early work including site visits, but will remain primarily office-based planning and detail design work until later in the year. • Planning Permit Amendment: Our recent application to amend our planning permit is currently being assessed by the Minister for Planning. Over the next few weeks, we will be answering any questions or queries on the application and preparing for the formal public notice period. We are currently responding to requests for further information from the Minister, and once all further information is reviewed the Minister will advise when we can proceed with our public notice period. • On-site investigations: Our on-site groundwater monitoring program is ongoing. • Turbine supplier: We are still in negotiations with turbine suppliers and hope to announce our preferred supplier in the coming months.

2017 - 2018

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

2018 - 2022

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

2022 - 2051

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 eight community members. The CRG is a community advisory body for the Golden Plains Wind Farm and makes recommendations on the allocation of the Community Benefit Fund and ensures the community benefits from the development. CRG membership applications are currently open until 31 March 2021. GPWFM encourages people that are passionate about the local community to apply to be a CRG member. Selection criteria is based on achieving a representative group from a range of community groups, geographic locations, gender, and age. The membership is for a two-year term, with a commitment to attend a to hour meeting quarterly. After the two-year period nominations will be re-advertised and CRG members can reapply to be part of the group for a second term.

The CRG nomination applications can be found on the Golden Plains Wind Farm website: If you would like to hear more about the CRG please contact us at 03 5421 9999.

COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES Rokewood Easter Event Golden Plains Wind Farm Management is partnering with the Rokewood CFA to host a Community Easter Event on the 28th March from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm. We would love to have you join us at the Rokewood Recreation Reserve for some Easter festivities. There will be a visit from the Easter Bunny, an egg hunt, jumping castle, and some other fun children’s games. To ensure this is a COVID Safe event, we will need to limit the number of attendees to 100. If you are interested in joining us, we kindly ask you to please register each person that will attend the event online at, and ensure you have a ticket on the day. The Rokewood CFA and Golden Plains Wind Farm Management are looking forward to hosting a great community day of Easter fun!

Geelong Students Visit Rokewood We were pleased to welcome a group of Year 12 students from Geelong Christian College as they undertake a major class project on evolving land use in regional areas. The class are studying the Golden Plains Wind Farm and the very engaged cohort were interested to know about the breadth of social, economic and environmental changes that come with a large infrastructure project like the Golden Plains Wind Farm. They also provided an economic stimulus of their own, with the Rokewood Takeaway doing a roaring lunch-time trade to feed the hungry teenagers.

COMMUNITY BENEFIT FUND The Golden Plains Wind Farm Management (GPWFM) Community Benefit Fund has been established to provide financial sponsorship for a range of community-based initiatives, projects and events that benefit local communities. The objective of the Fund is to provide financial support to not-for-profit community groups and organisations that are working to make a positive and lasting contribution to regional communities within and around the Golden Plains Wind Farm. Applications for the first round of the 2021 community funding are open from 15 February to 31 March with a total pool of $10,000 available. The Community Benefit Fund Guidelines and Applications can be found on the Golden Plains Wind Farm website: If you have any questions, or need further information please contact us at (03) 5421 9999.

Thank you for subscribing to our Project Update! To help reduce our carbon footprint, we are going paperless wherever possible. This includes how we will distribute our project updates, so if you are already subscribed to receive our email updates, we will automatically unsubscribe from the hard copy distribution unless we hear from you. However, if you would still like to receive a hard copy of the project updates please call us at (03) 5421 9999 and we will make sure you remain on the mailing list. Also, if you would like to be unsubscribed from our mailing list, please call us at (03) 5421 9999.


Complete Cultural Heritage Management Plan approved for ammended layout. Now Finalise negotiaions with turbine supplier and site visits with BoP contractors. Finalisation of electrical design and submission of grid connection application. Next Appoint wind turbine supplier. Negotiate a grid connection agreement with AEMO. Secure project finance. Updates and information We will provide updates on our website:

WIND TOPS COAL AS NUMBER ONE GENERATION SOURCE ON MAJOR U.S. GRID By David Schlissel Wind surpassed coal as the primary power generation source last year for the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), an independent grid operator that provides electricity for a vast territory stretching from the Texas Panhandle to the Canadian border. An analysis by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) found the growth has been driven by the near tripling of wind resources over a five-year period and improved wind turbine designs. Since 2008, wind generation of electricity has exploded from fewer than 10,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in 2008 to more than 70,000 GWh, according to SPP. Besides having a natural advantage of serving utilities located primarily in the Great Plains, an area of high potential for wind, the costs of adding new wind capacity fell by 45 percent between 2010 and 2019. Turbine design improvements, such as larger rotor diameters and higher hub heights, have provided better performance as well. Finally, the amount of dispatchable wind capacity—a source of power that can be turned on and off—soared from 27 percent of capacity in 2014 to more than 75 percent in 2019. The increased wind generation has come largely at the expense of coal. In 2007, wind held a 2.6 percent market share it’s now 31.3 percent. During the same period, coal’s share of the market fell from 64 percent to 30.9 percent. The decline has occurred even as the volume of self-committed megawatts (the ability of producers to decide that the power from their specific generator(s) should be dispatched into the grid) at coal plants has outpaced the next-largest fuel source by a 4-to-1 margin. A combination of significant additions of renewable resources and low natural gas prices is expected to continue to cut into coal’s dwindling market share. SPP has announced plans to add almost 90 gigawatts (GW) of renewables in the near future. Almost 90 percent of SPP’s coal plants have been in service for more than 30 years, which means they’re likely to be less efficient because they burn coal at higher heat rates and are more likely to be replaced by cleaner, cheaper renewables. This article was originally published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. David Schlissel ( is IEEFA’s director of resource planning analysis.


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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