Fremantle Wind Farm, Why Now?

windfarm ocean

I see the Freo Wind Farm is back in vogue again, it seems to pop up at least a couple of times a year. Made a Saturday paper even a few weeks back. I thought the journos name seemed familiar so I did a google Search on Kate Emery, so if you put Brad Pettitt and Kate Emery and then google, it’s seems that this journalist is a bit pro Brad,  I don’t know how it works, but I now realize when I read an article in the West Australian  I have to look a lot deeper not just the spin laid out on top in black and white? Try googling their names together and see what pops up?

On FB  the wind farm it seems to have risen its head again back in December, I wonder what it’s all really about. Personally it will not look great and the issue of bird kill as well, doesn’t make it a great start?

I’m all in favour of renewable energy I have panels on my house, I asked about wind for home as well but it’s not available for residential. It’s ok for the city of Fremantle to have but not its residents? Wanted a bigger inverter to allow for wind later but it seems the industry is not that far along.

So we are back to hearing the drum being beaten for this little wind farm on FPA property,  Port Authority have said no way, so why is the issue being raised again?

Now I understand it’s planning to be a community wind farm,  so 1st of all, I ask why community funded, not commercial, well the first answer possibly  is if commercial has past it by, there’s no money it and/or the risk factors would out weight the benefits? So if it’s not good for commercial operators is it worth the risk to the community?

So how is this a good business proposal, especially for the community, what worries me is that city funds become part of the funding model? I’m sure that would suit some, as it’s another green catch cry, good for rallying the troops. Why is that important, ohhh could there be a local election rolling around this year? Yes time to dust off a few great community actions to show we care, outcome not so important, what counts is going through the motions to look the part. Another box to tick so to speak.

Hard to believe the environment is a concern to COF after pumping hundreds of tonnes of concrete in Freo CBD’s biggest park?….. cutting down 100+ trees at Kim Beazley site, seeking to approve a lease to put a huge pub on an A-Class reserve, having the second worse rating in Australia on the 202020 report? A shame Kim Beazley name is tied to a site that was deforested, especially with the great school system it had? Any Questions? The plans for the Burt St Favella will have no parks little real greenery just a lovely R160 zoning? Time to beat the social housing drum too?

I saw a couple of weeks ago a huge wind turbine come crashing down in Nth Ireland in light winds. Check out this article too? Then click on the picture below.

collapsed-turbine-4-630x419

Seems not much in info in the last couple of weeks has come to light, since then the rest of the turbines have been shut down, closing the whole wind farm. Could a community wind farm sustain such a closure? The size of this thing is huge. If it fell into the port if could shut down operations? What happens when a blade comes lose and flies off into the port operations full of ships, containers, cranes and more importantly people? Just this week we have seen a cable or pulley break sending a cranes cargo come crashing down. Imagine a turbine blade some 40m long weighting tonnes, braking off, slicing through the air only to hit a crane in operation.

imagesWhat a disaster that could lead too if a sucker this size got loss in Freo?

Here’s what one looks like when it comes apart.

The real question is does Freo want to risk having turbines on the harbour where passenger ferries travel in and out of regularly?

Could a turbine incident shut down our port and what impact would it have on the port operations in Freo and what financial impact could on the greater Perth metro business area?

I think the idea raises more and more issues the closer you look at it?

No to mention they have close to 2 yrs to go on their power contract with Synergy, so by the time they got set up Synergy could be locked into another contract for a for 5 or so?

Would I be putting my cash in right now, no I think not, doesn’t look like a safe bet for ratepayers funds either?

I also see a report on the ABC that the “The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Australia’s premier health research body, has called for Australian scientists to look into so-called “wind turbine sickness”, saying that very few scientifically rigorous studies have been done.”  From all I have read it on the FB page it sounds like a safe thing to have, guess you need to read a little further on such issues, perhaps FB is not the best place for real facts?

www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/wind-turbine-crashes-to-the-ground-after-rotor-blades-spin-out-of-control-under-light-winds-9956194.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-30671607

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/wind-farm-scam-a-huge-cover-up/story-e6frgd0x-1226345185075

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6 comments

  1. Frank Acocella says:

    A case of Crs thinking “we must do something, this is something, let’s do it”?

  2. Julia says:

    Must have been listening to a Bob Dylan song while in a “Purple Haze”.

    The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind

  3. Roger Garwood says:

    I’ve nothing in particular against wind farms or other alternative energy. However something seems a little suspicious about this. Exactly who and what is driving it? There’s no such thing as a free lunch so who, ultimately, is going to making a quid from it? The rhetoric surrounding it is nothing new but there seems to be a lack of transparency, detail is foggy.

    • My understanding is that the guy driving it is an engineer, who works on wind farms, who’s company will ultimately benefit, or else will get a commission and the rest will probably get some hand out via a not-for-profit moniker of sorts.

      Either way, they all have their heads in the trough in one way or another. Whether it is their green ideology or the notion that it was them who orchestrated the wind farm off Fremantle, and what wonderful environmentalists they are spreading their gift.

  4. Chris says:

    This ridiculous plan is not suitable for many of the reasons already mentioned. In addition what about the following:
    Loss of public access to North Mole – one of Fremantle’s major tourist destinations already (it does not need a wind farm on it to attract tourists). I understand the proposal would take two years to build / install and require ripping up much of what has just been rebuilt with the new access road / bike track to North Mole. The mole itself was badly damaged in last winter’s storms so how would a wind farm stand up in that ? Will Frem Ports be able to reopen the mole after installation finished due to the poles being in the middle of the access road, safety issues, bird kill etc ? The wind farm vanes would be only metres away from the new business developments at Rous Head and therefore hundreds of staff would be at risk from the health and medical issues. Not that this will affect the proponents who will be too far away to care. Is Frem Ports willing to take the risk of all their clients in Rous Head possibly being affected in this way and opening all sorts of channels for litigation against them ? It has been found in northern Europe where wind farms are expanding far offshore that ships have had to stay further out to sea away from these due to potential effects to their navigational equipment. Imagine a ship entering port and being so affected in the narrow entrance channel. The wind farm towers would also potentially block sight lines from Frem Ports port control tower on top of the Admin building affecting their operations. The towers will totally over-dominate this wonderful open space area we have with North Mole and a wind farm would soon outwear any initial novelty value to tourists. Fremantle Ports have clearly said NO, NO and again NO and it should be left at that and the local media hype which fails to review / research all the factors should be put in their place once and for all. There are plenty of other windy but more isolated places they can build at if they really are serious.

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