Ararat Wind Farm has been designed, constructed and will be operated to ensure that it create significant environmental, economic and community benefits at the local and global scale.
Keeping the price of electricity down
According to Deloitte, Australian households will pay $510 million more for power in 2020 without renewable growth through the Renewable Energy Target and up to $1.4 billion more per year beyond 2020. Renewables increase competition in the wholesale energy market – and as in any market, less competition means higher prices. To understand how this works, Powershop have created an excellent YouTube video which can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxMvrKsVwzo
Ararat Wind Farm Sustainable Grants Program
The Ararat Wind Farm Sustainable Grants Program is currently being established and will be available to receive applications once per financial year and open for a period of six weeks commencing on Monday 3rd July 2017 and closing on Monday 14th August 2017. The total funds available for the Ararat Wind Farm Sustainable Grants Program 2017 is $65.000.00 shared across the three municipalities of Ararat Rural City, Northern Grampians Shire and Pyrenees Shire. Further information will be available in the coming weeks.
The fund will be managed by a panel drawn from the Councils and the community to ensure that local people decide on which projects are supported. The fund continues for the life of the wind farm.
The construction and operation of this wind farm has a positive effect on the economy. During the height of the construction period more than 350 full time equivalent personnel were employed on the project. A full time of staff of approximately 10 personnel will be required to operate the facility for its 25 year life. More than $20 million of goods and services associated with construction have been procured from suppliers located from Ballarat to Horsham. Project developer RES is currently undertaking a study in the region in to quantify the economic impact of the wind farm.
A renewable energy project of this scale attract interest from locals and visitors alike and provides a useful educational resource, assisting in raising awareness of climate change and clean energy solutions among the local and wider community. Ararat Wind Farm has engaged with schools, civic organisations and professional groups to help raise awareness of the role renewable energy plays in tackling climate change.
We are keen that our wind farm becomes a good neighbour and a positive feature of the local environment.
If you are a member of local a group or work for a local company and would like us to come to give you a presentation on the wind farm, please feel free to contact us.
At the local level, by hosting a wind farm, the local communities around the proposed wind farm will be making their own essential contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The following link provides interesting information on the carbon and energy payback of a wind turbine.
During construction of the Ararat Wind Farm it was necessary to remove some of the native vegetation on the site. Through careful design this was minimised through the shifting of internal access roads away from remnant patches and scattered trees wherever practical. Access track widths were also narrowed down to avoid vegetation. In those locations, where impacts on native vegetation could not be avoided, native vegetation offsets were achieved to compensate this loss. For all types of native vegetation, this has resulted in more native vegetation being protected than removed. The native vegetation protected for offsetting has been sourced in the area from local landowners who received a payment in exchange for properly managing, enhancing and protecting the vegetation forever.
The Ararat Wind Farm project is the first renewable energy project in Australia to register for an Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) As Built Rating. Ararat Wind Farm’s construction partner Downer and the project team have been working on their ‘As Built’ IS Rating submission, measuring and capturing sustainability initiatives and practices on the project. For more information, go to http://www.isca.org.au/
Ararat Wind Farm provided financial support to WARM – a sustainable, community textile art project designed to “close the loop” of our materials and energy use by recycling and reusing throughout the project. See more on the creation of this masterpiece below:
Ararat Wind Farm recently supported the Ararat Pony Club’s endurance ride. The event proved to be the biggest and most successful Endurance ride held in the area and one of the biggest in the state. As the Prestigious International Event- The Tom Quilty, 160km Race was being held Lexton shortly after, many riders used this event as a qualifier.
Winner of the Ararat Wind Farm Horse Rug for Best Condition, Medium Weight, Wendy Riha.
Ararat Wind Farm is proud to support local community initiatives and activities. Over the past few months Ararat Wind Farm has provided funding to the Wimmera Axemen’s Association for their recent participation in the Beaufort Show Wood Chop and the Elmhurst Tennis Club for the purchase of a tennis ball training machine for its tennis hotshots program.
A donation was also made to the VRI Bowls for the upgrade of tables and the Ararat Wind Farm is supporting the Sustainable Environment Arts Movement (SEAM) for their WARM project. WARM is an artist led, community crafted artwork that focusses on the importance of taking action to reduce the impact of climate change.