Moorabool Wind Farm Victoria, Australia, 2009-10

Brown NZ Ltd was engaged by Westwind Pty Ltd in 2009 to undertake and assessment of the landscape effects of the proposed Moorabool Wind Farm within the Shire of Moorabool, some 20kms east of Ballarat in central Victoria. Split into two ‘halves’, the combined Bunjeeltap and Ballarck sections of the project contained 110 turbines, each up to 150m high. Assessment of the project’s landscape implications involved site visits and photography to explore existing landscape character and values, followed by the mapping of Zones of Theoretical Influence, and the detailed evaluation of effects in relation to 32 representative viewpoints. Using present-day photos and simulations of the proposed wind farm, impacts were described and rated in terms of the visual prominence of the turbines, related changes to landscape character, effects on rural amenity, cumulative effects, and the potential for mitigation of such effects. This work provided the basis for evidence at the Victoria Planning Board and the granting of consent to the project.