Frequently asked questions
You will find below responses to all your frequently asked questions, covering general topics, permitting, noise, shadow flicker, local employment, decommissioning, etc.
What is renewable energy?
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) states that renewable energy is produced using natural resources that are constantly replaced and never run out. Just as there are many natural sources of energy, there are many renewable energy technologies including wind, solar, and hydro.
What is wind energy?
Wind energy is generated by harnessing the power of the wind through wind turbines. It is a great alternative to burning fossil fuels like coal, because wind energy does not produce greenhouse gas emissions.
How do wind farms generate energy?
Wind farms are groups of individual wind turbines that are connected to the electricity grid. Wind turbines use the energy of the wind to spin an electric generator, which produces electricity. Wind flows over the blades like air flowing over an aeroplane wing. This flow of air causes a difference in air pressure between the top and bottom of the blade, moving the blade and making the central rotor spin. The rotor drives a generator that produces energy to export to the grid.
Why is there increasing support of renewable energy generation from solar plants and wind farms?
Science based evidence has demonstrated that human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases is driving global warming. Fossil fuel burning (coal, oil, and natural gas) for energy consumption is the main source of these emissions.
In 2015, 196 nations agreed to a legally binding international treaty on climate change known as the Paris Agreement. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5, degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. In order to achieve this goal, countries across the world are transitioning their energy generation systems from fossil fuels to renewable energy such as wind and solar.
Can renewable energy technologies provide a reliable supply of electricity?
Renewable energy technologies generate electricity intermittently as the wind does not continuously blow, and the solar radiation intensity is not constant. Nevertheless, different ways have been developed to maintain a reliable supply of electricity from wind and solar energy generation. These include pairing wind farms with solar farms that generate electricity at different times and energy storage solutions, such as batteries.
Who is Naturgy Group?
Naturgy Group (Naturgy) is a pioneering multinational group in gas and electricity integration, operating in more than 20 countries, with 16 million customers, and 9,335 employees, of which more than 50% work outside of Spain. As of 2020, the Group has an installed capacity of 15.3 GW, an EBITDA of 3.7 billion euros, and the value of its assets amounts to 39.5 billion euros.
Who is Global Power Generation?
Global Power Generation (GPG) is the international energy generation arm of Spain-based Naturgy Group (Naturgy). GPG has accumulated extensive experience managing over 4.5GW of power generation projects in 9 countries across the world and currently employs around 430 people worldwide.
Who is Global Power Generation Australia?
Global Power Generation (GPG) Australia is the Australian entity of GPG, established to develop, construct and operate renewable assets in Australia.
Where is the Hawkesdale wind farm site located?
The Hawkesdale wind farm site is located in South-Western Victoria, within the Moyne Shire Local Government Area – south east of the Hawkesdale township. The project covers an area of approximately 2,280 hectares.
How many wind turbines will be installed and how much power will the facility generate?
The wind farm comprises 23 Vestas V136 -4.2 MW wind turbines with a total output of approximately 96.6 MW.
How the wind farm will be connected to the grid?
It will be connected to the high voltage transmission network via new 132 kV, overhead transmission lines. A new 500/132 kV switchyard will be built adjacent to the existing 500 kV Tarrone terminal station and will include the necessary switchgear and a power transformer.
How much energy will be generated by the wind farm?
The Hawkesdale wind farm is designed to generate the energy needed to power the equivalent of 67,000 households.
How much greenhouse gases will the Hawkesdale wind farm displace?
The Hawkesdale wind farm will displace 333,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually that would have otherwise been emitted into the atmosphere through fossil fuel power generation.
Who are the main contractors involved in the construction and operation of the wind farm?
Vestas Australian Wind Technology is the turbine contractor appointed to supply and install the wind turbines, as well as the operations and maintenance contractor.
BMD Group and CPP Australia are the contractors for the civil and electrical works, respectively.
AusNet Services is the contractor for the design, construction and operation of the connection assets.
Has GPG received the necessary permits for the Hawkesdale wind farm?
The wind farm was originally approved in 2008 for 31 turbines, and later amended in 2017 for a blade tip height of 180 m and a reduction in turbines to 26. Since then, the number of turbines was further reduced to 23.
Relevant copies of our project documents can be found in the Relevant Documentation section on this page.
When will construction of the Hawkesdale wind farm commence, and when is it projected to conclude?
Construction is expected to commence in 2021, with commercial operations beginning approximately 18 months after the start of construction. We will provide regular updates to the community via our newsletter and on this website.
Will the construction of the wind farm increase traffic on local roads?
During construction there will be a considerable increase in traffic on the local roads around the wind farm construction site. The traffic will be managed according to an endorsed Traffic Management Plan which will set out all requirements for all vehicle movements that are associated for the wind farm construction.
During the civil works there will be movements on the local roads by trucks with quarry materials. During the installation of the wind turbines components, there will also be movements from oversized heavy vehicles with those components, which will be under escort by pilot vehicles.
Our contractors will aim to impact the local roads as little as possible during the construction of the wind farm.
What type of construction activities should we expect for the wind farm?
During construction you will see different types of activities on site such as: stripping of topsoil with graders, excavating turbine foundations with excavators, pouring concrete foundations with concrete agitators and pumping trucks, delivering turbine components via semi-trailer trucks, erecting turbine components using a tonne crane, etc
Operation and decommissioning
When is the Hawkesdale wind farm expected to commence operations?
We expect that commercial operations at the Hawkesdale wind farm will commence approximately 18 months after the start of construction.
What is the expected lifetime of the Hawkesdale wind farm?
GPG Australia is an independent power producer, and we operate our renewable energy plants for the duration of their design life – which is approximately 30 years.
How will GPG manage the end-of-life decommissioning of the facility?
As a subsidiary of Spanish utility Naturgy Group, GPG is an experienced and responsible global developer and operator of power generation assets. GPG has a long-term owner vision and intends to operate the wind farms for the 30-year design life in partnership with the community. At the end of the operating life of the wind farms, GPG is committed to fulfilling all decommissioning responsibilities and returning the site/land to the local community.
Local Content and Employment
Do you use Australian suppliers and contractors?
We are committed to supporting the development of Australia’s renewable energy industry by utilising a substantial proportion of local content in our facilities, and employing local members of the community both directly, and indirectly through our contractors.
How many local jobs will be created to build and operate the Hawkesdale wind farm?
The Hawkesdale wind farm will create more than 200 direct jobs during the construction phase, and at least a further 6 permanent jobs will be created to support the ongoing operations of the wind farm.
How will GPG contribute to the local community?
GPG is committed to actively engaging with the community through the lifetime of the wind farm. In addition to utilising local content and local employment, GPG will contribute to the development of the community through the implementation of Community Engagement and Benefit Sharing Plan. This plan include a range of different initiatives such as a Neighbours Benefit Program, which will be available to all residents close to our wind farms as compensation for the potential impacts of the wind farms. In addition, GPG will fund a Community Grants Program that will invest in local projects or initiatives identified by a committee that GPG will create with the local community.
Who do I contact to receive regular updates or to address my concerns?
If you would like to receive a regular newsletter about the progress of the Hawkesdale wind farm or if you have any feedback, please visit the section Contact Us on this website.
How will GPG mitigate the impact of the Hawkesdale wind farm on the environment?
We are committed to minimising our environmental footprint and protecting the unique local environments in which we operate and have implemented multiple initiatives to achieve this goal.
- Acoustic amenity – we have engaged Marshall Day Acoustics (MDA), one of the world’s largest and most respected acoustic consultancies, to conduct environmental noise assessments to ensure that the Hawkesdale wind farm is in compliance with the relevant standards.
- Visual amenity – all residents within 4km of any turbine will have the option to receive off-site landscaping or other treatments to reduce the visual impact of the turbines. The specific type of screening will be determined through mutual agreement between GPG Australia and the landowner. Further information can be found in the approved Landscape Screening Program that will be uploaded in the section Relevant Documentation on this website.
- Flora and fauna – GPG is also committed to undertaking stringent monitoring program for operation, and a plan for response in relation to any threatened species, including mitigation.
Particular attention has been paid to Brolga, a species that is known to inhabit freshwater, vegetated wetlands on the Western Victorian Volcanic Plains of Victoria. Nesting and flocking sites of Brolgas are known in the region, but most are more than 20 kilometres away from the wind farm site.
How will GPG manage bushfire risks at the Hawkesdale wind farm?
GPG is committed to minimizing the risk of fires related to our wind farms. For example, the base of the wind turbines is separated from vegetation by a cleared gravel area which minimises risk of grass fires. The access tracks can allow more mobility of fire fighting vehicles and act as a fire break for grass fires.
GPG also collaborates with the Victorian Country Fire Authority (CFA) and will invite them to regularly visit the site so that they have a clear understanding of the facility. Additionally, two new water tanks will be provided for CFA-use-only, with capacity of 45,000L each.
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Detailed information about the Community Engagement and Benefit Sharing Plan associated to the project during the Construction and Operation phases can be found here
Get access to endorsements and permitting documentation for all key aspects of the project from compliance, modifications and all plans for key assessments.