Great News for Renewable Energy in the Macedon Ranges!
In a long-awaited announcement at the Sustainable Living Festival, the State Government, through Mary-Anne Thomas MP, has exempted our proposed community energy park from the current ban on wind power in the Macedon Ranges Shire. This means that MRSG’s Renewable Energy Action Group (MRREAG), in conjunction with our development partner, Windlab Ltd, can now begin the planning and stakeholder consultation process with an aim of proceeding to a planning permit application for the energy park (subject to finalisation of land tenure arrangements with the Victorian Government and Hancock Victorian Plantations (HVP)).
It is still early days but vision is to produce renewable energy equivalent to the total electricity consumption of all of the Macedon Ranges households. Feasibility studies will be undertaken to assess the viability of solar PV and battery storage in combination with up to 8 wind turbines. The location for the community energy park would be within the HVP pine plantation south of Woodend and west of the Calder Freeway. For those with longer memories, it includes the end point of our Ride For Renewables bike ride in 2014.
In addition to offsetting Macedon Ranges’ domestic carbon emissions, other benefits include a revenue stream for MRSG to assist future renewable energy projects. We shall also explore ways in which locals can participate in this iconic project.