EMBARGOED: 17 July 2020
Community Consultation begins for proposed Delburn Wind Farm
The Delburn Wind Farm will be an iconic project for the Latrobe Valley and surrounding areas, providing new local employment and procurement opportunities and contributing to regional economic growth.
The wind farm is expected to create up to 186 new full-time equivalent jobs during construction, 24 ongoing jobs over its operating life and contribute $106 million in increased Gross Regional Product across three Local Government Areas over a 32-year period of construction and operation.
OSMI Australia is committed to supporting the community by maximising local employment and procurement opportunities and incorporating a significant community benefits scheme into its development plans.
The Community Benefits Scheme comprises;
- Neighbour Profit Sharing;
- A Community Development Fund; and
- Community Co-investment Opportunities.
Neighbour Profit Sharing is a voluntary program that will be offered to the owner of all homes within 2 km of a wind turbine. This initiative will entitle neighbouring home-owners to receive a share of $500,000 in profits from the wind farm per year. OSMI will work through the details of profit sharing arrangements in consultation with its near neighbours.
The Community Development Fund, which is anticipated to be $150,000 per annum, will be distributed among local communities to contribute to projects that will focus on community health and the environment.
The fund, which will annually invest $750 for every MW installed at Delburn Wind Farm into the community surrounding the project, will be established once all necessary statutory approvals to proceed have been received and will run for the operational life of the project.
During the pre-construction phase, commencing in 2020 OSMI is establishing a Community Benefits Fund of $10,000 per year and applications for this funding are now open.
Projects and organisations that OSMI will consider supporting must demonstrate a benefit to the community surrounding the project area and should contribute to one or more of the following:
- building sustainable communities;
- enhancing community safety, health and wellbeing;
- supporting community education; and/or
- enhancing the natural environment.
Projects that are co-funded are welcome.
OSMI will also offer the opportunity for the community to invest in and share the returns generated by the wind farm. There is strong support for community renewable energy in the region; however, there are significant hurdles to successfully realising projects at a community scale. OSMI will work with local groups with an interest in sustainable energy, building on their work to unlock this renewable energy investment opportunity with strong returns.
The community survey conducted by OSMI throughout 2019 resulted in over $1M of community investment being pledged to the Delburn Wind Farm. This level of commitment is sufficient for OSMI to commit to working with the community to further define a community investment vehicle for the project.
OSMI is also interested in investigating other opportunities for collaboration with the local community, including:
- tourism with local operators;
- education and engagement, including mountain-bike trails, environmental and cultural engagement and educational walks;
- biodiversity enhancement and local offsets; and
- local electricity offer linked to the wind farm
People who are interested can register to be notified about employment or contracting opportunities or any aspect of the Community Benefits Scheme at https://osmi.com.au/community/.
Media contact: Elizabeth Radcliffe (0407835534 or [email protected])