Alinta says court wind farm ruling will have ‘dramatic’ and chilling effect on renewable energy investment

from ABC

Alinta says ‘there are not enough sites’ for the number of wind farms needed to meet Australia’s goals.(Supplied: APA)

One of Australia’s biggest renewable energy investors says a court’s decision to uphold complaints against a Victorian wind farm could have “dramatic” and chilling effects on the country’s transition away from fossil fuels.  

Alinta boss Jeff Dimery, whose company is one of Australia’s biggest private energy providers, said the ruling by Victoria’s Supreme Court would be a “shock” to companies planning to invest billions of dollars in new wind farms.

In its decision, the court backed claims brought against the 106MW Bald Hills wind farm in the south east of the state by neighbours who argued they were unable to sleep because of noise from the project.

Justice Melinda Richards ordered the project’s operators to switch off parts of the wind farm at night until the noise levels could be reduced to an acceptable level.

She also told the operators to pay aggrieved neighbours more than a quarter of a million dollars in costs and damages.

Mr Dimery said the decision would send “ripples” of doubt through the renewable energy industry across the country given the potential precedent it sets for other wind farms.

He said the longer-term implications were potentially significant, noting the ruling could scare away developers by making wind farms harder to build and less financially attractive. 

“It’s a disaster,” Mr Dimery said.

“This is a pretty dramatic outcome, I have to say.

“This court decision certainly changes the risk appetite for investors.

“I think there’ll be some fairly serious ramifications off the back of this.”

Net-zero goals ‘just got harder’

According to Mr Dimery, Australia was already facing a difficult tasking in building the amount of renewable energy needed to meet the country’s plans to become carbon neutral by 2050.

He said the Bald Hills decision was likely to make the job even harder and highlighted the need for governments and energy providers to ensure they get affected communities onside.

“You can set targets and say they’re achievable from an academic or technical point of view,” he said.

“But then we all live in the real world.

“In the real world for instance, a couple of weeks back there were a whole lot of tractors parked up in Spring Street in Melbourne in front of Parliament House, with farmers protesting about transmission lines being built in the west of Victoria to facilitate renewable energy zones.

A close-up of a stern-looking man wearing a suit.
Alinta chief executive Jeff Dimery says the court ruling will have major ramifications.(AAP: Darren England)

“We ourselves had a couple onshore wind projects on the east coast of Australia that were commercially feasible but unfortunately didn’t have community support to advance.

“And so we spent millions of dollars developing those projects and we had to walk away from them.

“What this Bald Hills decision highlights to me is the difficulty of the actual transition that we’re undertaking to reduce carbon emission from the stationary energy sector in Australia.”

Costs, bills inevitably to rise

For Mr Dimery, the ruling also underscored the cost pressures that would emerge as Australia accelerated its push away from coal- and gas-fired power plants towards renewable energy.

He said although wind and solar farms provided cheap electricity while they were producing, they were available less often than conventional plants.

On top of this, he said major and expensive upgrades to the national grid would be required to handle the extra renewable energy needed to meet Australia’s emissions targets.

Noting “there are not enough sites on land on the east coast to replace coal-fired generation” with wind farms, Mr Dimery said offshore wind projects were one of the only viable replacement options.

However, he said offshore wind farms were typically three times more expensive than onshore projects and this would eventually filter through to energy bills.

“I think the magnitude of what needs to be achieved has absolutely been underestimated,” he said.

“The narrative around what can be done and how it can be done, in my opinion, is being oversimplified to the community.

“There’s a misconception that bringing more and more renewable energy into the market will reduce power prices over time.”

Infrastructure Capital Group, which owns Bald Hills, said it was “absorbing the judgement and its implications”.

Nicholas Aberle from the Clean Energy Council said the industry took turbine noise “very seriously”.

Dr Aberle also noted that a new set of laws and guidelines had been developed to regulate wind farm noise following consultation with the Victorian government.

“This case shows the importance of wind farms being proactive in dealing with noise complaints,” Dr Aberle said.

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Editor: This is great news for Australians who will soon be suffering alternative power blackouts and for industry which needs a reliable coal fired power source. And a bonus of exposing the carbon dixoide scam.

About Editor, cairnsnews

One of the few patriots left who understands the system and how it has been totally subverted under every citizen's nose. If we can help to turn it around we will, otherwise our children will have nothing. Our investigations show there is no 'government' of the people for the people of Australia. The removal of the Crown from Australian Parliaments, followed by the incorporation of Parliaments aided by the Australia Act 1987 has left us with corporate government with policies not laws, that apply only to members of political parties and the public service. There is no law, other than the Common Law. This fact will be borne out in the near future as numerous legal challenges in place now, come to a head soon.

Posted on April 2, 2022, in ABC, Agenda 2030, Climate Change, CO2, coal, Corporate Government, General, global cooling, Global warming, Greens, Labor Party, Liberal National Party, Lima Declaration, Wind generation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Brian Johnston

    Magoo. You said you saw a wind farm devoid of trees and GRASS.
    Wind turbines do not produce any useful energy. They do produce useless harmonics and DANGEROUSLY HIGH EARTH VOLTAGES which causes all life forms to move out of the area and that includes earth worms.

    The sooner Alinta are charged with fraud the better.

    It is quite possible that Alinta chief executive Jeff Dimery has no understanding of how electricity works, just a flunky.


  2. Yeah Magoo the energy sector is just another illusion. Ed


  3. kevmudskipper

    They say these monstrocities kill thousand of birds , they blow up and cause massive fires and in the whole life expectinsy they will not even create enough power to even pay for the cost of building one of these horrible things . Give me Coal as we have the best coal in the world or Nuclear anyday


  4. In late January I drove to Canberra. Before arriving, I saw a large wind farm. It area looked desolate, devoid of trees or grass. There were 2-3 of them actually working. The rest had broken or missing arms and were in a state of absolute disrepair. THAT is your renewable energy! Broken monstrous pieces of concrete. The scene look terrifying if you could imagine these tall towers (I kid you NOT!), standing forlorn and broken, looking as though the concrete was about to give way (you would be just too scared to get anywhere within a few kms of them just in case). I took pics of it – it was just so horrific. I just couldn’t believe this was our so-called alternative power! And WE paid for it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If you want “Australia” to shut down wind farms you’ll have to go to Norfolk Island as that’s where “Australia” is!


  6. Although I am no expert but collecting info from the net – it says these expensive monstrums that causes disturbances to people and animals who are living nearby – NEVER EVER make back their costs – but if they need repair …than it is an even bigger loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Living 28 years in Australia – alinta is the worst company I ever experienced. They forcefully took over my billing – but what was the incredible thing is – they calculated 176 $ electricity bill ….for 13 (thirteen) days….what I don’t even pay for three months at the original company, by living alone no TV no dryer etc. Unbelievable greediness.


  8. What a wonderful result for Austalia👏👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

  9. HooRay!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Brian Johnston

    This is all good news.
    Now lets set the record straight. The electricity grid is 50 hertz synchronous.
    The electric jug label reads 230v 50Hz
    Wind turbines do not produce 50 hertz. They produce useless harmonics termed in the industry as dirty energy. They do not work and cannot boil a jug. Fraud.
    The useless harmonics are through smart meters added to a consumers power bill. Fraud.
    This is the reason why peoples power accounts went up after the smart meter was fitted.
    The old analogue meter could not register useless harmonics.
    Class actions will eventually and surely happen. Good.

    Note for example:
    A hydro power station generator is required by law to rotate at a fixed speed.
    It is also required by law to produce an exact 50Hz.
    Subsequent power stations are required by law to all produce the same 50Hz at the same time giving rise to the term synchronous.
    A wind turbine can do none of this, besides they are Asynchronous.

    Mexico shut down all their wind farms. So should Australia.

    Liked by 3 people

  1. Pingback: 2022/04/03rd – What is the future for the “Useless Eaters” ? – debtstop

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