The Stockyard Hill Wind Farm is a proposed wind energy project located approximately 35 km west of Ballarat in Victoria's central highlands. The project boundary extends to five kilometres south of Beaufort and approximately four kilometres north of Skipton.
On 29 October 2010, the Victorian Minister for Planning granted approval for 157 turbines at the Stockyard Hill Wind Farm and all of the associated planning permits. The granting of the Planning Permits was a major step forward for the Stockyard Hill Wind Farm project. Further design work has been undertaken since then as part of the detailed work requirement of the approvals and conditions.
As part of this process, Origin has been in consultation with wind turbine manufacturers, extensive modelling suggests that utilising the latest wind turbine technology and increasing the tip height from the already permitted 132 metres to a maximum 165 metres substantially improves the efficiency of the project.
As such, Origin is preparing an application to amend the current Permit to increase the maximum height of the turbines from the permitted 132 metres to up to 165 meters.
The changes would result in an increased 'swept area' for each tower, which would help drive down the cost of energy generated from this project and may produce more clean energy from the same number of wind towers.
Although a final turbine design has not yet been selected, the turbine capacity is expected to remain within the same range as the turbine dimension conditions in the existing approval (2 – 3.4 MW).
The authority responsible for assessing the application is the Victorian Minister for Planning.
The project is expected to deliver significant economic benefits including the creation of ongoing jobs, rates to the local government, rent to participating landowners and a community fund.
The proposed wind farm will connect to the national electricity grid via the transmission line near Lismore.
Site Location Plan click to enlarge
Indicative Site Layout Plan (updated) click to enlarge
In early 2014 Origin commenced discussions with the community about the possibility of increasing the turbine tip height from 132 to a maximum 165 metres. In considering the discussions and proposals put forward by turbine manufacturers it has become clear there have been continued advances in turbine technology that would result in improved wind farm performance and output.
Origin has now determined to seek a Planning Permit Amendment that would allow a maximum wind turbine tip height of 180 metres. For further information view the latest community newsletter.