Oaklands Hill Wind Farm produces enough energy to power approximately 32,000 average Australian homes annually.
The wind farm is expected to provide renewable energy to the national energy market for at least 25 years.
The total amount of carbon emissions created during construction of the farm were offset by operation within five months.
The $200m Oaklands Hill Wind Farm is located on 2,323 hectares of freehold agricultural land 3 km south of Glenthompson, in the shire of Southern Grampians in Western Victoria. It spans eight properties, which are mainly used for sheep and cattle grazing.
The location was chosen for its high potential for harvesting wind.
The AGL Community Engagement Forum is a place to ask questions, provide feedback, or discuss anything
about AGL’s operational sites and the communities
in which we operate.
AGL undertook a wide range of comprehensive studies to determine the impact of Oaklands Hill Wind Farm on ecology, landscape, cultural heritage, visual amenity and other environmental factors. Following a robust development process, a planning permit was issued in late 2008.
AGL commenced construction of Oaklands Wind Farm in mid-2010, with practical completion achieved in February 2012.
Suzlon Energy Australia Pty Ltd (SEA) was awarded the Engineer Procure & Construct (EPC) contract – they installed 32 Suzlon S88 turbines with a capacity of 2.1 MW each. The total output from the wind farm is capped at 63 MW. Suzlon are also responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the site.
|Total output capacity (constrained)||63 MW|
|Individual turbine capacity||2.1 MW|
|Turbine type||Suzlon S88|
|Turbine height||80 m|
|Max blade tip height||124 m|
|Length of on-site access tracks||26 km|
|Length of underground cables||26 km|
|Steel for towers||5,460 tonnes|
|Average Australian households powered each year||Approximately 29,000|
- Media Release - 30 July 2010
- Media Release - 23 February 2010
- Media Release - 10 September 2009
- Media Release - 30 July 2009
AGL understands that we don’t always get it right, and we want to be informed when we don’t. If you would like to provide any feedback, good or bad, or simply ask some questions, please feel free to get in touch via the following channels:
AGL Community Complaints and Enquiries Hotline: 1800 039 600
Mail: AGL Community Complaints & Enquiries, Locked Bag 14120 MCMC, Melbourne VIC 8001
During development and construction of the wind farm, AGL engaged in rigorous stakeholder consultation; and we continue to work closely with landowners, the community, and local and state authorities.
Here are some of the things we have done and are doing:
- an AGL Community Fund supports local projects, with funding allocated through consultation, ranking and agreement with local community associations
- AGL is committed to ongoing monitoring, offsets and local community investment for the life of the project, to conform to planning permits
- AGL will continue with its strategy of building long term local partnerships by investing in the local community.
Below are some highlights of how we engage with the community.
AGL was proud to be the major sponsor of the Peaks and Trails Festival of Running for the third year running in 2017. Held in and around Dunkeld, this picturesque event caters to trail enthusiasts of all abilities, with access to beautiful Southern Grampians trails and a number of private trails normally inaccessible to the public.
Sponsored through the Oaklands Hill Wind Farm Community Support Fund, the Festival attracted over 300 competitors, up around 50% on last year. The AGL Ultra Marathon – which covers 50 gruelling kilometres – had 60 entrants.
Australian Ultra Marathon Team member, Kellie Emmerson, dominated the Ladies Open categories, taking out both the Mount Abrupt Challenge (a 6 km run up the mountain) and the Ultra Marathon – on consecutive days … and in record times!
For the first time, a team of AGL runners participated in the event. Rawle Kendall (Accountant, New Energy), Natalie Blair (FP&A Manager, Sales and Marketing) and Hoang Nguyen (Asset Performance Analyst, Wind and Solar) did the business proud. The team was joined by Natalie’s running club mate, Amelia Griffo, after James Bower had to withdraw at the last minute with a broken foot.
The team put in an outstanding effort:
- Rawle completed the 26km event in 3:12, finishing 27th overall and 11th in his age group
- Natalie completed the 11km event in 1:13, finishing 21st overall and 4th in her age group
- Hoang completed the 26km event in 2:52, finishing 15th overall and 8th in his age group
- Amelia completed the 26km event in 3:06, finishing 22nd overall and 3rd in her age group
Hannah Coffey, Community Relations Manager, said that AGL is very proud to be a major sponsor of the Festival.
“We’re in the business of energy and it’s great to partner with an event that so embodies high levels of energy, enthusiasm, determination and drive. AGL is Australia’s largest operator and developer of renewable energy generation, including the nearby Oaklands Hill Wind Farm, and we are committed to supporting the communities in which we operate," she said.
AGL met with Member for Lowan Emma Kealy MP in May 2017. The discussion covered local community engagement and investment from AGL, and the issue regarding mobile reception in the area.
We were pleased to attend the Glenthompson Progress Association Meeting on 3 May 2017, to provide an overview of AGL’s operations and to provide the community with an opportunity to share their views. The Committee discussed the Community Support Fund for Oaklands Hill and opportunities to support local projects. Salinity and Brolga projects were also discussed.
AGL reduces risk to the environment and minimises its environmental impact by integrating considerations of environmental sustainability into all activities. This includes things like:
- pollution prevention
- promotion of waste minimisation
- reuse and recycling
- the efficient use of resources such as water and energy
- protecting cultural heritage.
In association with the Glenelg-Hopkins Catchment Management Authority, AGL has also committed funding towards Brolga habitats and salinity management.
In March 2012, AGL completed voluntary, comprehensive noise testing around the Oaklands Hill Wind Farm in response to concerns raised by neighbouring residents.
The noise testing, performed by specialist noise consultants, tested for infrasound, amplitude modulation, low frequency noise and tonal noise at locations neighbouring the wind farm.
Testing demonstrated that all areas of sound were compliant with the strict regulatory requirements. However, some audible tones from the gear boxes were detected in certain low wind speed conditions (between 10-18 km/h). The operation of the wind farm was modified so that the turbines did not operate during these low wind conditions.
In addition, after consultation with several neighbours, AGL decided to voluntarily temporarily shut down several turbines on the Wind Farm from 8:00 pm to 7:00 am each night. Residents were advised this was a temporary measure until a permanent fix for the tonal noise could be made.
After a thorough investigation, the source of the tonal noise was identified, with the solution to fix the issue implemented from November 2013. This involved fitting each turbine with a gearbox dampener to remove the tonal noise that was occurring under low wind speed conditions.
Following the installation of the dampeners, the Oaklands Hill Wind Farm recommenced operating to its full capacity, with the turbines operating with no operating hour limitations.
Further testing was undertaken in November 2014 and May/June 2015, as well as in February/March, August/September and November/December 2017.
If you have any further questions regarding this or any other matter, please feel free to contact our Community Relations Team on 1800 039 600 or email AGLCommunity@agl.com.au and an AGL representative will be in contact.
Wind farms and health
- Wind industry statement on confidentiality clauses in landowner contract
- Wind Energy - The Facts, Wind Farms and Health, Clean Energy Council, January 2015
- Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study: Summary of Key Findings, Government of Canada
- Wind Farms and Health - Position Statement - Australian Medical Association, March 2014
- Waterloo Wind Farm Environmental Noise Study, Environmental Protection Authority, South Australia, November 2013
- Infrasound levels near wind farms and in other environments. Environment Protection Authority, South Australia, January 2013
- Wind Farms, Sound and Health: Technical information - Department of Health, Victorian Government, April 2013
- Wind Farms, Sound and Health - Department of Health, Victorian Government, April 2013
- Are wind farms noisy? - Clean Energy Council (video), November 2010
- Farms Technical Paper - Wind Environmental Noise - Clean Energy Council, November 2010
- Wind Turbines and Health - A Rapid Review of the Evidence, National Health and Medical Research Council, July 2010
- Wind Turbines and Health - A Public Statement - National Health and Medical Research Council, July 2010