Wind farm says sharing power lines sometimes 'not practicable'

Visual impact: Metal pylons erected to carry transmission lines from the Salt Creek wind farm stand over standard power poles near the Terang terminal station.
Visual impact: Metal pylons erected to carry transmission lines from the Salt Creek wind farm stand over standard power poles near the Terang terminal station.

Calls by the south-west community for wind farm companies to share transmission lines were difficult to accommodate when new south-west wind farms were being built at different times, a wind farm spokesman says.

Tilt Renewables development general manager Clayton Delmarter also said it was difficult to build shared transmission infrastructure because some of the planned wind farms might not be built.

A 51-kilometre long transmission line built by Tilt Renewables from its 15-turbine Salt Creek wind farm at Woorndoo, north of Mortlake, to Terang to connect to the electricity grid has provoked considerable criticism with residents concerned about its large scale.

They are concerned the visual impact of Tilt Renewables lines will be replicated many times as several other wind farms planned for the south-west are built.

Mr Delmarter said building transmission lines that could accommodate the power from a number of wind farms was expensive and when it was uncertain whether some of the wind farms would be built, it was uncertain who would pay for the shared infrastructure.

He said Tilt Renewables would look at sharing not only infrastructure for future energy projects but also other aspects of energy projects such as land access and environmental studies. But while the company would look at sharing resources, it was “often not practicable,” Mr Delmarter said.

Tilt Renewables also plans to build an 80-turbine wind farm at Dundonnell, east of the Salt Creek wind farm. Mr Delmarter said work on that project was due to start at the end of this year with its transmission lines connecting to the electricity grid at the Mortlake power station.

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