Golden Plains Wind Farm - Project Update #17

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Project Update

Issue #17 – August 2022 WELCOME


Happy New Year and welcome to Issue #17 of the Golden Plains Wind Farm Newsletter. Since our last project update, significant progress has been made, which will likely allow for the commencement of major construction works early next year. As always, we invite you to get in touch with us with any questions you have about the Golden Plains Wind Farm, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if we can be of any assistance.

LEGAL CHALLENGE AGAINST MINISTER FOR PLANNING WITHDRAWN On Wednesday 17 July, the solicitor acting for the plaintiffs in the legal action against the Minister for Planning, filed a notice to the Supreme Court to discontinue the proceeding. In simple terms, they have dropped the challenge and the matter is closed. This is fantastic news for the Project and allows us to continue ‘full steam ahead’. We thank everyone who has supported us as we have navigated the recent legal challenges, particularly our landholders for their patience and unwavering support as the Project endured a series of delays.

Office 4 Nexus Centre, 17 Goode Street GISBORNE VIC 3437 (03) 5421 9999

We’re pleased to introduce you to two new members of the Golden Plains Wind Farm team! Megan Discher is our new Communications & Marketing Coordinator. Joining us from Geelong Sustainability, she worked on the Community Power Hub program helping support communities in their transition to renewable energy. Megan lives near Inverleigh with her husband and four girls and is passionate about the role communities play in Australia’s transition to clean energy. Cam Griffith is an Enfield local who joins us as our new Project Engineer after previously working in construction management at Sovereign Hill in Ballarat. Having grown-up in Rokewood, Cam already has great knowledge of the local community and will be a familiar face to many of you. Megan (L) and Cam (R) are pictured above with Justin Hanns (C), who has also joined WestWind to work on other projects in the Development Team. @goldenplainswindfarm



The Victorian Government has shown their support of the Golden Plains Wind Farm through the gazettal of an amendment to the Golden Plains Shire Planning Scheme on Tuesday 24 May. This approval provides financiers additional certainty to fund preliminary construction works on the Golden Plains Wind Farm Development. In simple terms, this amendment is a new approval (in addition to the current approval) that has been made by the Minister for Planning to expedite the development, construction, and operation of the Golden Plains Wind Farm. This is a mechanism often used by the state government to deliver state significant projects, such as the Metro Tunnel Project and the North East Link. This is great news for the Project that assisted to minimise further delays to the early works packages for the Project during the recent legal challenge. You can find more information on the status of these works, along with other on-site activities, on page 3 of this Project Update. It has been very encouraging to see the community rally together in support of the Project. The community petition was a particularly significant showing of support from near and far, with more than 12,000 signatures received in support of the project led by the local community! We thank you all for your ongoing support for this exciting project.

We are pleased to announce that we have set up an office in Rokewood, with thanks to Brett Marciniec at the Rokewood Hotel. WestWind Energy have entered into an agreement with the Hotel to convert some space in the premises into a Golden Plains Wind Farm office. This office provides a convenient location for staff to work, a place to hold meetings, and an easy way for locals to pop-in with any enquiries. The Golden Plains Wind Farm team are particularly excited to have a “home” in Rokewood and look forward to welcoming the community. Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Megan Discher will work from the office on Mondays and Tuesdays, and you’ll find Engagement Manager, Matt Hustwaite and Project Engineer, Cameron Griffith, basing themselves from the office at various times throughout the week. We thank Brett for his willingness to host our team and for the work he has put into getting the space ready for us.

Office 4 Nexus Centre, 17 Goode Street GISBORNE VIC 3437 (03) 5421 9999 @goldenplainswindfarm



In July, we commenced an early works package consisting of engineering works and local road upgrades that will benefit the Project and surrounding residents. Most visible to the public are the local road upgrades in the eastern portion of the Project. These works will ensure the roads are suitable to manage increased traffic and are ready for component and bulk haulage delivery when construction commences. These works include:  The replacement of the Ferrars creek bridge on Geggies Road. This has resulted in a full closure for approximately 6 weeks, while the bridge deck is removed and replaced with a new one.  Culvert replacements and pavement upgrades on Bells Road and Geggies Road, with partial road closures in place until September and November respectively. Any enquiries about the early works package currently underway can be directed to Engagement Manager, Matt Hustwaite, via email at or by calling 0422 124 871.

Ferrars Street was lined with cars on Wednesday 23 March as businesses and workers interested in the Golden Plains Wind Farm attended an Industry Briefing at the Rokewood Hall. More than 80 attendees heard from WestWind Energy and representatives from the Industry Capability Network, Vestas, MPC Kinetic and Consolidated Power Projects, who all presented information on the Project, future work packages and how to get involved. We’re committed to maximising industry engagement with our regional community, no matter how big or small a business may be. If you are a small/medium enterprise or an independent contractor in our region and are interested in working on our project, please register your details our website by visiting

SAVE THE DATE – COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS PARTY 2022 We will once again be hosting a Community Christmas Party on Sunday 11 December at the Rokewood Recreation Reserve. Mark the date in your diaries and look out for more details soon!

Office 4 Nexus Centre, 17 Goode Street GISBORNE VIC 3437 (03) 5421 9999 @goldenplainswindfarm

ENERGY CRISIS REMINDS US WHY WE NEED A RAPID SHIFT TO RENEWABLES, SAYS AEMO CHIEF By Sophie Vorrath The head of the Australian Energy Market Operator has stressed the continued, rapid build-out of largescale renewable generation capacity must remains the nation’s top priority, both to drive down energy costs and to get the grid to net-zero emissions. Speaking at the Australian Energy Week conference in Melbourne in June, AEMO chief Daniel Westerman said “getting enough energy into the system” is top of the list of things he worries most about. And the cheapest way to do that, he added, is to ramp up the rollout of large-scale solar and wind energy to the tune of a nine-fold increase – from 15GW today to 140GW by 2050 – which is what is being forecast in AEMO’s latest Integrated System Plan. Alongside this, AEMO says the grid will also need a tripling of “dispatchable firming capacity” – from 20GW today to 60GW by 2050 – which will come from a combination of technologies, including big batteries, pumped hydro energy storage and demand response. “I’ve said this before, that this energy transition is not just about environmental benefits, it is a kaleidoscope of economic, technical, political, and environmental factors,” Westerman said during a plenary address at the conference later on Tuesday. “And these recent weeks have really reminded us about the economic benefit of the transition to lowcost, firmed renewables. “Today, many homes and businesses struggling with increased energy costs and that is a very real challenge and certainly one that strikes right at the heart of everyone at AEMO.

Office 4 Nexus Centre, 17 Goode Street GISBORNE VIC 3437 (03) 5421 9999

“But we know through the work that’s gone into developing an integrated system plan that firmed renewables will provide the most economic form of new energy going forward. “And the ISP that will be formally released later this month, will contain the roadmap to 2050 on how we integrate greater levels of cheap, clean renewable energy, and the right levels of firming capacity for them,” he said. “And the sooner we can move the nation to higher levels of firmed renewables, the sooner we can electrify more of the economy, the sooner we can decouple energy costs from international factors and the sooner we can reduce stress on Australian households and businesses.” Happily, Westerman says that despite current “challenging market conditions,” new large-scale renewable energy projects are still queuing up to be built. “I know that supply chain costs are an issue for all infrastructure projects at the moment – transmission, renewables and other infrastructure,” he said. “But from AEMO’s perspective, what we see is a really big pipeline of people wanting to connect. We don’t really see a shortage of capital at the moment. “I think our NEM is 60-odd gigawatts in capacity and AEMO has, at the moment, 130-odd gigawatts of potential projects in our pipeline of potential connections. This article was originally published by Renew Economy. Sophie Vorrath is editor of One Step Off The Grid and deputy editor of its sister site, Renew Economy. Sophie has been writing about clean energy for more than a decade. @goldenplainswindfarm

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