The Macarthur Wind Farm has the capacity to generate enough clean, green energy to power the equivalent of approximately 220,000 average Victorian households and also save approximately 1.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year.
The 420MW Macarthur Wind Farm, made up of 140 3MW turbines, is currently the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and is jointly owned by AGL Energy Limited (AGL) and Malakoff Corporation Berhad. The Macarthur Wind Farm is contributing towards the Federal Government's expanded Renewable Energy Target which aims to have 20% of the country's electricity generated from renewable sources by 2020.
Construction of the Macarthur Wind Farm took approximately 2.5 years and it has been fully operational since late January 2013. Leighton Contractors and Vestas were engaged by AGL to construct the Wind Farm. Vestas is also continuing to play an important role in the ongoing operations of the Wind Farm. As the world's largest manufacturer of wind turbines, Vestas bring state of the art technology, quality and reliability to the project to ensure the success of the Macarthur Wind Farm over the longer term.
During the development and construction of the Macarthur Wind Farm, the total number of jobs (including flow on employment) was estimated at 875 from the region, 2490 from Victoria and 2782 from the rest of Australia. 18 local residents from south west Victoria also make up the majority of the permanent site team responsible for the ongoing maintenance and operations of the Macarthur Wind Farm.
The Macarthur Wind Farm is located on three properties that are predominately used for sheep and cattle grazing. The Wind Farm area covers approximately 5,500 hectares of freehold agricultural land that is located approximately 16km east of Macarthur, between Hamilton and Warnambool in south western Victoria.
AGL is committed to ensuring the Macarthur Wind Farm continues to operate in accordance with all the stringent requirements detailed in the planning permit. To date, over 40,000 hours of noise monitoring has been conducted at the Macarthur Wind Farm, which is well beyond the amount of noise monitoring required in the planning permit.
We are pleased to advise that all noise monitoring results received to date at 13 neighboring dwellings demonstrate that the Macarthur Wind Farm complies with the acoustic requirements of the planning permit. The Government's strict noise regulations for the Macarthur Wind Farm are in line with the World Health Organisation's guidelines for noise limits.
AGL has engaged fully accredited noise acousticians to carry out the monitoring and all noise monitoring has been conducted in accordance with the relevant Standards. In the interest of transparency, all relevant raw noise data collected from this monitoring is being provided to the landowners for their records.
To confirm that the wind farm continues to remain compliant with its noise requirements under the planning permit, AGL is required to complete two rounds of noise monitoring across several locations surrounding the wind farm. The first round of noise monitoring was conducted in early 2013, with all results demonstrating compliance was achieved. AGL is currently engaging external consultants to complete the final round of noise monitoring which commenced in February 2014.
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