Challicum Hills Wind Farm’s 10th Anniversary Year

Nearly a decade on and Australia’s 52.5MW Challicum Hills Wind Farm is still breezing along.
Situated just east of Ararat in Victoria, the facility was Australia’s largest wind farm when it was completed in August 2003.
Challicum Hills wind farm generates around 141GWh per year and its associated carbon abatement is the equivalent of removing 35,000 cars from the road.
Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus, visited the facility yesterday to help celebrate its success.
“This is a great example of what can be achieved when the private sector, local businesses and community members work together to produce a positive environmental, social and economic outcome.”
Mr. Dreyfus said the wind farm generates enough power to supply approximately 26,000 Victorian homes and has created significant employment, investment and tourism opportunities in the Ararat region.
General Manager of Pacific Hydro Australia, Lane Crockett, states the project has abated more than 1.5 million tonnes of carbon pollution since it started operations and pointed out community support for the facility had been strong.
“The Challicum Hills wind farm has also returned more than $380,000 from the sale of electricity back to 151 local community projects that encourage social and environmental sustainability.”
Built on private farming land; each of the landholders also receives payments for the life of the wind farm. As the turbines and associated infrastructure only occupy 1 percent of the land, farming has been able to continue uninterrupted.
The site was chosen as it was close to a connection to the National Electricity Grid, provided easy accessibility was and large enough to allow optimum spacing of the 35 turbines.
An associated revegetation program is also proving successful; helping to protect local biodiversity and improve the habitat of indigenous wildlife.
The Challicum Hills Wind Farm shows ‘wind done right’ can be a winner all round.