Western Plains Wind Farm Update
The wind farm would bring benefits to the region including local jobs during construction and an increased demand for services such as plant and machinery, food and fuel. The project would also benefit the community through the Western Plains Wind Farm Community Fund.
Many wind farm projects around Australia have established community funds. This aligns with the Clean Energy Council’s Best Practice Charter1for Community Developments, to which Epuron is a signatory. One of the commitments is “We will offer communities the opportunity to share in the benefits of the development, and consult them on the options available, including the relevant governance arrangements”.
What are the objectives of the Community Fund?
The fund would provide financial contributions to projects, initiatives and events of interest to the community.
How much funding would be provided and when would it become available?
- Epuron proposes to put $2,000per annum per turbine built into the Western Plains Wind Farm Community Fund.
- This could result in a fund of up to $26,000 each year for the life of the wind farm (up to $650,000 over 25 years) if 13 turbines are built.
- The fund would start at commissioning of the wind farm.
Who would administer the Community Fund?
Options could include:
- A special committee of Council for this purpose
- A new organisation to administer the fund
- Existing community charityor foundation.
What would be the role of the group administering the fund?
Tasks may include the following:
- Call for applications for funding of projects or activities to benefit the local community
- Establish selection criteria for evaluation of applications
- Evaluate funding applications against selection criteria.