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Community Consultation begins for proposed Delburn Wind Farm

The community consultation process has begun for the proposed Delburn Wind Farm, following the appointment of local resident Ruth Harper as the Community Engagement Officer and the opening of a local shop. The shop is expected to open on Wednesday 29th May at 7 Christian St, Boolarra – the site of the former Boolarra Emporium. The shop will serve as a drop in centre, information point and local project office.

The Delburn Wind Farm is proposed to bring jobs, local economic stimulus and renewable energy to the Latrobe Valley and upper South Gippsland areas. The proposed development site is over the plantation land centred in the Delburn area, covering the Darlimurla, Silver Creek and Thorpdale plantations. The site is generally bounded by Coalville to the north, Thorpdale to the west, Darlimurla to the south, and Boolarra and Yinnar to the east.

Project developer Peter Marriott from OSMI said “Throughout Europe, wind turbines are a natural fit with forestry plantations, coexisting on the one site. In this case, we are pleased to be operating within an HVP Plantations Latrobe Valley estate, to develop what will be one of the first forest-based wind farm in Australia.”

The concept plan is for up to 53 turbines with a total capacity of 300 MW and total height of up to 250 metres. The wind farm will cost approximately $400-500 million, offset 980,000 tonnes of carbon per annum and will power approximately 200,000 homes. A key part of the project concept is to offer the opportunity for community co-investment in the project.

The Latrobe Valley has a proud history of being the energy center of Victoria. The Delburn wind farm will utilize existing infrastructure in the area by connecting to existing grid infrastructure which has supported the thermal generation for decades. . The project will also utilize the extensive skills and experience of local residents by providing local jobs during the construction phase (approximately 200 full-time jobs during the 18-24 month construction period) and beyond (18 full-time direct jobs), thereby providing both a connection to the regions past, and providing opportunities for the future. In addition, over $3 million per year will go back into the local economy in the form of community benefits sharing programs, rates arrangements with local councils and lease payments to the landowner.

OSMI is committed to conducting a thorough and genuine community consultation process. OSMI is reaching out directly to those residents in proximity of the proposed wind turbine locations over the coming months and anyone in the wider local community who would like to have input into the project is encouraged to have their say. Aside from the shop front, OSMI representatives will also be available for home visits, if requested, and It is anticipated that there will be a number of community open days and other activities, subject to interest from the community. OSMI will continue to provide regular updates and project information via letterbox drop of project newsletters, the website, social media channels, and local media outlet.

OSMI would like to re-enforce to the community that the concept plan is just the first stage of the design process. Community members now have the opportunity to have their questions answered, to register any concerns they may have, and to have a real input into the ultimate design of the wind farm and the form that they want the community benefits to take. Community input will be taken into consideration along with the results of technical assessments currently being conducted and will feed into the next version of the design, which will also be released for public comment.

“Construction isn’t planned to commence until 2022 – this phase is really about engaging early with neighbours and the local community to ensure this project is well designed and well supported.”

Interested community members are invited to fill in the public survey to help guide the project and show their interest in the investment opportunity. The survey is available at www.surveymonkey.com/r/OSMI2019.

For more information, or to subscribe to the e-newsletter, go to www.osmi.com.au or email [email protected].

Shop hours will be 10-2pm Monday-Thursday, with weekend openings scheduled in advance. To arrange an appointment, request information, or for any other enquiries, contact us.