Community Benefits Update
July has certainly been a cold month and the Mirboo North Winterfest this weekend is a great opportunity for the community to come together. We are excited to be sponsoring the inaugural Winterfest and hope everyone has a great time.
We’ve been looking at different ways we can share the benefits of the Delburn Wind Farm (DWF) with the communities surrounding the project. A Community Benefits Scheme has been developed that sets out how we will give back to the community.
Since 2020, our Pre-Development Fund has allocated over $30,000 towards projects that boost the local community, health and the environment. This pre-development funding will continue until construction of the wind farm begins. Applications for the DWF 2022 Pre-development fund will open on August 1 and close on October 30, 2022. Eligibility criteria and application forms can be found here. After October, OSMI will review applications and announce the pre-development fund recipients.
Community Development Fund
Once construction is underway, DWF will invest $750 per MW installed ($150,000 per year based on a 200 MW project) back into the surrounding community. The way these funds are invested will be determined in collaboration with the new Community Benefits Committee (see below for more information).
Neighbour Profit Sharing
We recognise our neighbours are priority stakeholders and the construction and operation of the wind farm may affect their day-to-day life. We are offering to share a part of the income from the wind farm directly with our near neighbours every year over the operating life of the wind farm. We have allocated $500,000 each year, which will be indexed over the life of the wind farm, to share with our near neighbours. The details of how this will be distributed (including which neighbours will be included in the offer and the amount each neighbour will receive) will be decided in collaboration with the Community Benefits Committee.
Once construction is complete, residents will be able to directly invest in the DWF. Investors will receive returns based on the wind farm’s performance, or fixed returns, depending on the investment structure agreed. The community co-investment model could be established through a range of different structures such as a company, a co-operative, an association or trust. We will work with the Community Benefits Committee to finalise the investment model and key terms of the investment offer while the wind farm is being built.
Community Benefits Committee
You’re invited to be part of a committee to share ideas on how the various Community Benefits initiatives can be distributed and managed. You may have specialist financial and governance skills, or maybe you’re just passionate about strengthening your local community. Either way, we’d love to hear from you. To express your interest, email [email protected] or call 1800 676 428.
Don’t forget to book in a visual assessment at your property. Every household within 6km of a turbine is entitled to a visual impact assessment. Call us on 1800 676 428 or email [email protected] It takes less than half an hour and we will arrange to visit at a time that is convenient to you.