Golden Plains wind farm approved

News

Seven hundred construction jobs are up for grabs in Rokewood to install wind turbines following the federal government's approval for the Golden Plains Wind Farm.

A further 70 ongoing jobs will be created when the project becomes operational.

Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley last month signed off on the environment protection and biodiversity conservation act approval, one of the final steps in the process.

The Golden Plains Wind Farm is set to be one of the largest wind farms in the southern hemisphere with developer WestWind Energy confirming plans for up to 228 wind turbines in the area around Rokewood.

The federal government’s announcement follows approval for the project from the state government’s Minister for Planning in January 2019.

The project was approved after its initial footprint was reduced to protect the breeding wetlands of the native brolga. Planning Minister Richard Wynne approved the project subject to the creation of exclusion zones around the breeding grounds.

The Golden Plains Wind Farm will be the largest development ever undertaken in Golden Plains, delivering significant economic outcomes to the community and the region, particularly in terms of job creation and infrastructure development.

It is also the most significant renewable energy project in Victoria and will help deliver on the state’s renewable energy plan.

Golden Plains is an attractive location for investment in wind generation given its suitable land and climate conditions, access to the power grid, availability of a workforce and proximity to the Port of Geelong.

The project will be the third wind farm in Golden Plains, following the Mount Mercer Wind Farm, a 64 turbine project which became operational in 2014. The Berrybank Wind Farm is also currently under construction and when fully developed, will see 79 turbines built in Golden Plains and Corangamite Shires.