Visit to Wind Farm at Coonooer Bridge

Five members from MRSG’s Renewable Energy group and eight local residents from around our proposed energy park set out last Saturday (July 27) to visit the Coonooer Bridge Wind Farm. Coonooer Bridge is operated by Windlab, MRSG’s partner in the proposed energy park in HVP’s pine forest plantation around 6 km south of Woodend, and is a similar scale to our project. Coming out of a meeting with residents in May, Windlab offered to show residents a wind facility. MRSG was represented by Al Reid, Ben Cumming, Jan Corigliano, Rob Bruhn and Bruce Mildenhall.

The wind farm consists of six turbines with a hub height of 85 metres, and blade length of around 50 metres. When we arrived at the site we could not see them for the fog, but they were still rotating and the fog gradually cleared. We were briefed by the site manager Shaun Blackie and Geoff Burns from Windlab. Each of the turbines has three times the output of the Hepburn Wind turbines, which gave us an indication of how far the technology has advanced. We were pleasantly surprised at how quiet the turbines are, and what an impressive renewable energy facility it is.

The residents, four from the Blackwood Drive area and four from Glendevon Drive, to the south east and the north west of our proposed site, asked questions around the speed and noise dimensions of the turbines. In the end they still have concerns about potential impact on their quiet part of the Shire, and a possible reduction in property values. We offered to keep in touch and maintained our commitment to sharing information when the specialist studies are done on issues ranging from birds and bats, to visual impact and noise modelling etc.