The Wind Farm
Waterloo is located 30 kilometres from the town of Clare and about nine kilometres east of Manoora in South Australia. The small community of Waterloo – the closest town to our wind farm – is the inspiration for our business name.
Situated along a rocky ridge on privately owned property and surrounded by gently sloping farmland, Waterloo sits in the path of some of the best natural wind resources in South Australia. Winds accelerate as they pass over nearby hills and ridgelines, leading to very high wind speeds at the wind farm. Waterloo Wind Farm can produce up to 130 megawatts (MW) of electricity, enough to power more than 60,000 households.
A project to extend the wind farm has recently been completed and will provide an extra 19.8MW of generation capacity. While the region is largely rural and not heavily populated, the views of residents and neighbours are key to helping us operate our business in a responsible manner.
Community Liaison for us, means regular, genuine contact with residents, regulators and interest groups. It means listening to feedback, and it means sharing clear information about what we are doing at the moment and what we are planning to do in the future.
In order to protect the surrounding rural environment, wind farms must operate within strict guidelines set by the Environment Protection Authority South Australia.
Prior to building Waterloo Wind Farm, we conducted studies to determine what visual and acoustic impacts the wind farm might have on its surroundings. Planning approval for Waterloo and Waterloo Stage 2 has endorsed our approach to limiting the impacts identified in our studies.
We now manage our environment on a daily basis to control environmental impacts. This includes erosion prevention, weed and pest control, bird monitoring, remnant vegetation protection and protecting the quality of on-site water sources.
Noise from the wind farm is also monitored closely. An extensive study by EPA SA in 2014 found Waterloo Wind Farm fully complies with noise laws and the conditions of its development approval.
To protect the amenity of nearby residents, the wind farm is operated in strict compliance with South Australian Environment Protection Authority noise guidelines, which reflect standards used internationally, including significant guidance from the World Health Organisation. These regulations limit noise levels to very low levels and are designed to ensure wind farm operations don’t unduly add to the existing rural soundscape or cause excessive annoyance. While still audible, noise from the wind farm is sufficiently low that our sound output is often indistinguishable from other noises in the environment, like the wind or rain. We do, however, understand noise may cause people annoyance or concern. When this occurs, we work with neighbours that raise noise issues with use to investigate and try to resolve the basis for their complaint.
Copyright Waterloo Wind Farm 2016