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Ballarat Community Powers Up for Global Wind Day

24/06/2013

As part of this year’s Global Wind Day activities, nearly 100 Ballarat visitors, including many families enjoyed a tour of the Waubra wind farm and the opportunity to be up close and see wind turbines.

Members of the Ballarat community were delighted to participate in this year’s Global Wind Day - a worldwide event that occurs annually on 15 June as a day for discovering wind power and the potential of renewable energy. 

In 2012, more than 230 events were organised in 40 countries around the world as part of Global Wind Day. 

As part of this year’s Global Wind Day activities, nearly 100 Ballarat visitors, including many families enjoyed a tour of the Waubra wind farm and the opportunity to be up close and see wind turbines.

As well as showcasing the Waubra Wind Farm, it was also a chance to test the knowledge of the nearly 100 Ballarat visitors to the wind farm on Saturday.

ACCIONA Senior Manager Lisa Francis, said it was likely most Ballarat people knew about the wind farm, but few understood its advanced technology and how much energy it contributes into the electricity grid.

“So we ran what was a fun experiment with the Ballarat visitors who came to explore the wind farm on Saturday, and asked each of them to take a quick quiz. We had some surprising results,” Ms Francis said.

“For example, we know the ACCIONA wind farm has 128 turbines, and at maximum speed their blades turn at about 280 kilometres per hour.

“About 70 per cent of people thought we had 128 turbines, and another 30 per cent thought we had 85. Most thought the maximum speed for the blades was 150 kilometres per hour.”

Visitors were asked what size community the Waubra Wind Farm could power, and offered the choice of Beaufort, Ballarat, Geelong or Daylesford. Most visitors chose Ballarat, and about 30 per cent thought it could power a town the size of Beaufort.

“We know the Waubra wind farm can provide renewable energy to around 110,000 homes.  This is a city the size of Ballarat plus its surrounding towns.  So I think this exercise is an opportunity to help the community understand the benefits of renewable energy and the Waubra wind farm,” Ms Francis said.

Numerous third party surveys and research have shown the majority of Australians are supportive of renewable energy and wind farms.  

The Waubra wind farm will inject an estimated $355 million into Victoria’s Central Highlands’ economy over its 20 year operating life.

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