Winds farms a source of pride and income
by JAMES DENNIS, (The Weekly Times)
October 2, 2018 12:01pm
WHEN the opportunity to have wind turbines on my property for the Mount Gellibrand Wind Farm in Colac arose many years ago, it was a big decision.
But now, with the wind farm up and running, I can confidently say it was the right move.
As a fourth-generation farmer and grazier, the turbines have been a welcome addition to the farm.
Some say the size and noise of these turbines is a burden. I disagree.
With three wind turbines on my property I can truthfully say the noise we hear from our home 3½km away is no louder than the sound of ocean waves through the window.
Others question the visual appeal — they certainly take some getting used to, but to me they are a sure sight better than the polluted skies near the coal power plants in the Latrobe Valley.
The turbines are big but their impact is small — I can still use almost all my land, and I make no secret that the additional income from hosting the turbines has added a layer of economic security for me and my family as we look to this unpredictable future.
The wind farm’s Community Enhancement Fund benefits the wider community, as do the jobs for local workers, and then there is the pride I feel in being part of the global transition to clean, renewable energy.
For myself and my grandchildren, I am happy to support the shift away from coal, especially because the science is clear fossil fuel combustion is a key cause of climate change.
Ultimately, renewables aren’t something that’s far off in the future — they are needed now, and the wind, solar and storage technologies that make up the solution are available today.
I understand why some people might have reservations about wind turbines or solar farms — it’s different from what we are used to, and change is never easy — but as my family and flock of happy sheep will attest, when done right, renewable energy and farming cannot only coexist, but thrive together.
Come and take a look for yourself.
• James Dennis is a fourth-generation Colac farmer and grazier
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