Leonard's Hill wind farm: Power to the people

AFTER more than five years of planning and fundraising, Australia's first community-run windfarm has placed an order for turbines. The windfarm which will be located on Leonard's Hill near Daylesford will only include two turbines but it will be enough to power 2300 houses. Hepburn Wind director Scott Kinnear said while Australia was aiming for 20 per cent renewable energy by 2020, Daylesford would have 100 per cent in 2010. Daylesford resident Per Bernard came up with the idea for the community windfarm more than five years ago.Originally from Denmark he said there were numerous community-run windfarms in his home country. "We can't wait for the Government to do everything for us, so we thought maybe we can do our own," he said of the plan. Mr Bernard said it was "exciting" to be at ordering stage. Hepburn Wind's Simon Holmes a Court said more than $11.5 million had been raised for the project, with less than a million needed left.In Denmark, more than 5500 turbines are owned by more than 2000 Danish families."It's a major milestone for the community to be ordering turbines.""We have got nearly 1100 members. The majority of members are local to the area.He said the majority of the community are behind the project."They're not the biggest turbines you can get, there was a lot of community consultation throughout," he said. Mr Holmes a Court said the two turbines would be installed in the second half of the year. The minimum investment in the windfarm is $1000, reduced to $100 for locals.

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