Central West a big fan of green energy

Central West a big fan of green energy

The Central West is in the midst of a green energy boom.

Leading the renewable energy charge is Blayney Shire, which is already home to one wind farm and in the process of developing another.

The Blayney Wind Farm was the largest wind farm in Australia when it was built in 2000, with 15 windmills that generate enough electricity annually to sustain 3,500 homes.

The Flyers Creek Wind Farm will dwarf its Blayney predecessor – windmills will be larger and more numerous, along with the ability to create more electricity.

Director of Planning and Environmental Services at Blayney Shire Council, Leon Rodwell said the Flyers Creek proposal is close to approval, however the council is still negotiating some conditions.

“[We are] seeking to have conditions in councils favour, particularly in regards to roads – maintenance, repairs and rebuilding of roads,” Mr Rodwell said.

He also said council was looking at some community funding over the life of the project, so the local community could benefit from the development.

Forbes is another Central West town taking advantage of its natural resources with a proposed thermal solar plant, which will be the largest of its kind in Australia.

A thermal solar power plant consists of a sea of mirrors that follow the sun as it moves across the sky – like a field of sunflowers.

The sunlight is reflected from the mirrors to a tower, which stores a generator.

The generator uses air and heat generated from the reflected sunlight to produce electricity.

While thermal solar plants are common overseas, they are yet to be trialled in Australia.

The Forbes plant will be used as a demonstration model to study the potential use of thermal solar energy thoughout Australia.

The thermal solar plant is expected to be running by March 2014.

Image courtesy of ABC

Image courtesy of ABC

For a more detailed explanation of how a solar thermal plant works watch this CSRIO video.

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