Votes: 23

New England Wind ~ NSW's first community-owned wind farm (
by Chris Blanksby, posted 2013-09-21

Idea Description:

New England Wind aims to establish the first community-owned wind farm in NSW. A community-owned wind farm based on the New England Tablelands will have significant benefits for residents, businesses and organisations of all communities in this region.

NEW will establish a community-owned wind farm of 6-10 turbines, able to produce around half of the residential electricity usage of the New England Region. It will be funded largely through investments from the local community.

NEW has arisen from a vision for long-term energy self-sufficiency.

The exact location of the project is not yet confirmed, but negotiations are underway regarding a proposed site on the New England ranges. The location will ultimately be determined by where there is wind and a good grid connection (likely to be on the Tablelands), however, the intention is to benefit the whole New England community. 

Community Benefits:

There truly are big benefits  both for individual shareholders as well as the wider community. Looking at HepburnWind, which is Australia's first community windfarm, helps show this.

Hepburn's two wind turbines generated 10,000,000 kWH of clean and renewable electricity in their first year. This is about as much used as 1,300-1,500 homes! They are now providing community grants, which topped $40,000 this year. The project employes four staff and has trained three dozen core volunteers in areas like project management, finance, communications and engagement. Plus, by owning their electricity infrastructure, they keep tens of millions of dollars circulating in their local economy instead of being paid in electricity bills to national and international companies.

New England Wind is likely to be about three-times the size of HepburnWind,  which would produce about half the residential electricity currently used in the Tablelands.

Having our own wind farm is also a great point of interest, and presents educational and tourism opportunities for the region.

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