Community Engagement at ACE Power
ACE Power is committed to engaging and collaborating with communities to support beneficial outcomes for the environment and the community. Our team is proudly committed to community engagement which is effective, fair and transparent, and we strive to build positive long-term relationships.
Here at ACE Power, communities are at the centre of what we do when developing renewable energy infrastructure. A renewable energy project will provide social and economic benefits to the community via local contracting, community support and sponsorships, all whilst demonstrating the benefits of renewable energy and the importance of sustainability. Every town and community is different and our aim is to engage with each community in a way that is tailored to the individual location and dynamics of the community.
ACE Power’s community engagement process is designed to:
- Be open with the community
- Understand the community and establish relationships which are built on trust and transparency
- Ensure the engagement process is inclusive
- Deliver a robust and consistent communication plan which welcomes community input
- Provide timely responses to any queries from the local community
This process established by ACE Power will ensure we:
- Provide factual information in relation to the proposed development
- Understand the local community and their feedback on the development
- Consider the feedback during the development cycle considering short and long-term social and economic benefits for the community
Community support and involvement is vital to the success of any infrastructure project. We value the input of local people and businesses and are committed to following the Clean Energy Council’s guidelines for community engagement which can be found here.
Understanding Wind Farms
Are wind farms noisy?
- Like all machines with moving parts, wind farms create some noise, however they are also required to comply with strict operational noise regulations imposed by state governments. A noise impact assessment is also conducted as part of the planning application process in the early stages of development, taking into account proximity to residential areas and other sensitive receivers. Once the wind farm is operational, compliance checks are undertaken to ensure the wind farm is operating according to the noise regulations in place. In recent decades, advances in technology have improved the design of wind turbines and reduced the amount of noise generated during operation. Wind turbines only emit noise when generating electricity, and when wind farms are generating electricity, the background noise of the wind can muffle the noise generated by the turbines.
Do wind farms cause negative health impacts?
- No. Wind farms are a mature technology that have been used around the world for decades to generate clean electricity. Wind farms have been operating in close proximity to residential areas in and have been studied in detail. There is no evidence that wind farms cause negative health impacts. Further information about the health impacts of wind farms can be found here: https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/health-advice/environmental-health/wind-farms
Do wind farms use land that could otherwise be used for cropping or grazing?
- Wind farms have a small physical footprint and are built on exposed hills and ridges which are typically less productive. While wind turbines can limit the use of aerial application of fertiliser or pesticides, otherwise known as “crop dusting”, they otherwise have negligible impact on agricultural practices. Many farms in Australia host wind turbines with minimal impacts to productivity. Some farms may benefit from the improved transport infrastructure built as part of the wind farm.
Are wind farms a danger to native birds and bats?
- Wind farms can impact birds and bats by blade strikes, barotrauma and alterations of flight patterns. Before commencing construction, the project must undergo rigorous planning and environmental assessments conducted by independent experts and reviewed by local, state and federal governments. These assessments ensure the impact to the environment, including native bird and bat populations, is minimised. During the operation of wind farms, impacts to birds and bats in monitored, and if necessary, the operation of wind farms is modified to reduce impacts to birds and bats.
What happens to wind farms when they reach the end of their operational life?
- When a wind farm reaches the end of its operational life, the owner of the wind farm is responsible for decommissioning and removal of the turbines and associated infrastructure. This will usually involve removing the tower, blades and generator, then removing the concrete base of the turbines and replacing it with topsoil. The local community is usually invited to provide feedback on the proposed plans for decommissioning
Do wind farms produce reliable electricity?
- Yes. Wind farms produce abundant, clean and cheap electricity. In combination with complimentary storage and generation technologies, wind farms have contributed to the orderly function of the national electricity market in Australia for decades. Wind farms will continue to play a vital role in the transition away from fossil fuels. ACE Power has a team of experts who understand how to locate, design and develop the best possible wind farm projects. As part of this process, ACE Power conducts rigorous data collection and analysis to ensure the sites selected have sufficient wind resource to generate adequate electricity and are able to supply this electricity into the grid.