ABOUT WIND

See how a local primary school in Bulgana, Victoria installed wind and solar, thanks to a Neoen community grant, to help students learn about renewable energy.

ABOUT WIND FAQ’s

How long does it take to build a wind farm?
The construction timeframe depends on the project size and the number of workers deployed on site. For a 100 MW power plant, an 8 to 14-month timeframe is typical, with a peak construction period of 2 to 3 months. A large project like our Crystal Brook Energy Park will take around 24 months to construct with a longer peak construction.
What technology does Neoen use to build its wind farms?
Neoen’s projects use premium quality wind turbines and battery technology provided by leading manufacturers. This is selected through a competitive process for each project. All components come with long warranty periods, wind turbines are generally warrantied for 20 to 25 years.
What is the life cycle of a wind farm?
A wind farm will typically operate for between 25 and 30 years.
How do wind turbines work?
Wind turbines are designed to convert wind into mechanical energy by rotating the turbine blades. The mechanical energy is converted into electricity via a generator in the nacelle, which is sent directly to the grid. The electricity generated by the turbine is proportional to the wind speed cubed. As an example, a wind turbine in 8m/s wind will produce about 8 times as much electricity as a wind turbine in 4m/s wind. This is why it’s important to place turbines in high and consistently windy areas to achieve the lowest cost power generation for consumers.
How tall are the wind turbines?
Generally speaking wind turbines have a tip height of between 150 and 270 metres with approximately 500 to 1000 metres between each turbine. However, this varies from project to project.
What are the advantages of taller, modern turbines?

Economic: Larger turbines generate more and cheaper energy because they can access higher wind speeds at higher elevations. They also generate savings in civil and electrical costs (foundations, roads, cables, etc.).

Visual: Larger turbines are spaced further apart (up to 1000m) and have lower rotational speeds than smaller turbines.

Noise: Larger turbines don’t necessarily make more noise than smaller turbines, due to their slower speed and improvements in blade design.

All turbines in South Australia are subject to strict noise limits imposed by the Environmental Protection Authority. The noise impacts that are permitted are the same regardless of turbine sizing.

Environmental: Larger turbines require less concrete, roads and cables per unit of energy generated. This reduces carbon emissions, construction traffic, and vegetation clearance. Their blades are also above the flight paths of most birds, which greatly reduces the impact to avifauna.

How do you stop the wind turbines from impacting our landscape?

We acknowledge that wind turbines do impact the landscape but will work with communities to ensure our wind farms have the least possible detrimental impact on visual amenity. Neoen encourage individuals and groups that have questions about visual impact and remedies to engage with us early.

Overall, we consider that the immediate and long-term benefits which wind farms bring to communities offset any loss of visual amenity.

Are there any health risks associated with wind farms?

There are nearly 200,000 wind turbines installed worldwide — many of them in more densely populated areas close to houses.

Some 17 reviews of research literature conducted by leading health and research organisations from all over the world, including the World Health Organisation, Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Centre, the UK Health Protection Agency and the US National Research Council, have concluded there is no published evidence to positively link wind turbines with adverse health effects.

Can wind turbines’ noise affect local residents?

To achieve development approval, a wind farm must demonstrate that noise levels at neighbouring residences will meet strict noise limits under the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) 2009 guidelines.

 Noise levels are then tested after operation starts to ensure compliance. If these limits are exceeded, turbine operators must shut down or de-rate turbines to achieve compliance.

 The EPA limits are designed to ensure that noise from a wind farm is not intrusive for the average person.

 The baseline limit for noise audible outside a dwelling in Primary Production-zoned land is 40db(A). This is comparable to a quiet conversation in another room of a house.