Twin Creek wind farm meets local opposition

Twin Creek wind farm meets local opposition

A proposed wind farm near Mount Rufus and St Kitts has been met with opposition from local landholders and residents.

RES has been developing the Twin Creek Wind Farm site since early 2014 and last week held its second round of community consultation sessions at Kapunda, Eudunda and Truro.

Initially, RES proposed to install 90 turbines, however following environmental surveys on the site this figure was revised to 51, 180-metre high turbines.

However, unlike other wind farms in the region such as Keyneton, the Twin Creek Wind Farm is set to be visible from the Barossa, according to a visual influence map presented at last week’s consultations.

“The visual aspect is quite appalling,” businessman and landholder Condor Laucke said.

“Pretty much everywhere in the Barossa is going to see all of them.”

Mr Laucke also had concerns surrounding the noise impact of the turbines.

“The fella we buy rams from at Hallett has turbines about eight kilometres away; they said they definitely hear them – more so the generators – and the house also vibrates in certain conditions.”

Mr Laucke is one of several neighbouring landholders at Hansborough, Bagot Well and Dutton who were previously approached by DP Energy and RES to be part of the proposed project, but who were strongly opposed to it.

Two landholders will host the 51 turbines on the properties of “Twin Creeks” and “Ben Lomond”.

Hampden’s Mary Morris is another resident concerned about the impact the proposed farm could have on the region, including affecting the character of the historic St Kitts and Barossa districts.

“The Mount Rufus tower can be used as a rough reference point to indicate where properties will have a direct line of sight to the wind farm,” she said.

“If you can see the Mt Rufus tower, you will see the majority of the 51-turbine wind farm – bearing in mind that the Mt Rufus tower is only about 40m high and the turbines will be 180m high.”

Environmental surveys of the area have detected Wedge-tailed Eagle nests, as well as a population of Pygmy Blue-tongue Lizards – an endangered species which was previously thought to be extinct and only rediscovered near Burra in 1992.

Studies on the lizard have previously cited industrial development – such as wind farms – as a threat to its survival.

RES development project manager Daniel Leahy said surveys had been conducted for several years across the site and project plans would aim to mitigate the impacts on local fauna and flora.

He said distance buffers would be implemented, with the area varying for each species.

“We undertake surveys pre-construction and throughout the project period and we have to have a design to accommodate that.”

Mr Leahy said RES was currently on the 25th iteration of the design and would be using feedback from last week’s to frame the next stage.

“Around Kapunda and Eudunda we’ve received quite a bit of support from local businesses,” he said.

“Projects like this are a good injection into local business; you always do get a minority of people saying no one supports this.

“We’ve consulted with the local community and there were some concerns raised by residents – that’s normal.

“That feedback will go into the design, if we need to change something.”

There was no firm date on when designs would be submitted to the Development Assessment Commission.

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