Pre-construction Open Day held by GPG Australia about Ryan Corner wind farm

Australia

On March 24, GPG Australia (GPGA) hosted a pre-construction open day to inform the community of progress prior to the upcoming commencement of construction of the 52- turbine wind farm at Ryan Corner near Port Fairy in South-West Victoria as the amended Planning Permit had been recently granted.

Due to the changing conditions around Covid 19, it was decided to hold the event outdoors on public land in the Port Fairy township.

Ryan Corner is a 218.4 MW wind farm covering approximately 3,400 hectares. This renewable asset will annually save 775,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide that would have otherwise been emitted into the atmosphere if the energy would be generated by conventional energy technologies. The wind farm is designed to generate the energy needed to power the equivalent of 141,000 households. 75% of the energy to be produced has been secured through a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with an Australian retailer, Snowy Hydro.

GPGA was joined by fifteen representatives from the contractors and consultants who have worked on elements of the development and will continue to work with GPGA during the construction and commissioning of the project.

The community members who attended were able to ask specific questions depending on their interest area. Representatives were able to answer enquiries on the construction phase, planning and permits, use of local roads, environmental and cultural heritage management, noise impacts, the transmission line and the capacity and operation of the turbines once commissioned.

This Open Day was held one year after the introductory open day in April 2021. During the last year, the company have been actively improving the layout of the project based on the community´s feedback, comments received during the public notice, consultation with DELWP and Moyne Shire Council, emergency services, neighbours, landowners and all related stakeholders. The outcome has been a better design which addresses these comments and in summary a better integrated facility on the site with a significant decrease in the impact on native vegetation and sensitive wetland areas requested, from 5.345Ha to 3.836 Ha.

In parallel, GPG Australia has implemented different channels and actions to keep the local community and the main stakeholders well informed about the progress of the project through the incorporation of a Community & Stakeholder Engagement Officer, who is available at a local office in Hawkesdale until the construction office will be erected on site. The company has been also providing updated information in the periodic meetings of the Community Engagement Committee established by the Moyne Shire Council, where the community representatives can obtain responses to all their questions. Besides this, a newsletter is published every month that is distributed between the local community and uploaded to the website specifically developed for the project. Additionally, media releases are published from time to time in the company and project websites and in the local media with relevant information. Weekly construction reports will be also sent to the landowners and the local community during the construction period. The community will be regularly updated on construction activities. Sensitive receptors identified to be impacted by construction noise will be given two-day notice of more detailed construction activities and expected noise impacts.

This Pre-construction Open Day is another way to be close to the community to know their feedback and concerns, as well as to keep them well informed and solve their queries, as the simulation video developed for the project as an informative tool. Please consult it on the website.

Ryan Corner wind farm video.