Developer reveals broadcast disruption from planned wind farm

PROTEST: SA-BEST politician Connie Bonaros displays a sign made by protestors who gathered outside the panel hearing in the Royal Port Pirie Yacht Club.
PROTEST: SA-BEST politician Connie Bonaros displays a sign made by protestors who gathered outside the panel hearing in the Royal Port Pirie Yacht Club.

Radio and television broadcasts could be disrupted by a proposed batch of 240-metre-high wind towers at Crystal Brook.

TOWERING: The proposed wind turbine towers at Crystal Brook would be almost as high as the Eiffel Tower, according to this comparison table from political party SA-BEST.

TOWERING: The proposed wind turbine towers at Crystal Brook would be almost as high as the Eiffel Tower, according to this comparison table from political party SA-BEST.

Developer Neoen Australia told a planning panel in Port Pirie on Monday that a Broadcast Australia report had suggested 4000 people could be affected by disruption to ABC radio's 639 North and West.

A company representative, responding to former Port Pirie man and panel member David O'Loughlin, told the State Commission Assessment Panel that the disruption would vary.

"There is a bit of give and take ... there are very few properties there," he said.

He said on a good day, at the fringe of the reception area and depending on the radio equipment, there might be a signal.

"You would expect some level of flicker ... the turbines are all rotating at different speeds and angles," he said.

He said some of the affected area could be near Roxby Downs.

Earlier, the company's head of development, Garth Heron, described the potential radio disruption as "very minor".

He said a small number of houses could have problems with television signals.

"Modelling indicates that six individual houses in the vicinity of the project may suffer from television reception issues as a result of the wind farm, depending on their equipment," he said.

"For anyone who suffers degradation of television reception, we will provide an alternative means, for example digital television upgrade, and or additional equipment, for example a new antenna, to rectify the issue at the company's cost.

"There may be some very minor ABC radio impacts from the project at the edge of the existing signal range that can be more than offset by a 1dB increase in power upgrade to the Broadcast Australia tower."

Mr Heron said the project would comply with World Health Organisation noise guidelines.

He said the turbines would be 240 metres high, but that latest technology had developed some that were 270 metres high for other sites.

"They are getting bigger and bigger," he said.

He said bigger turbines were more efficient and produced cheaper power.

About 30 people sat in the gallery while wearing black T-shirts emblazoned with the words, Reject Non-Compliant Wind Farm.

Also watching was SA-BEST parliamentarian Connie Bonaros who said before the hearing that approval might be given based on outdated laws.

"The Planning Minister could change this today by the stroke of a pen," she said.

She said the turbine rotors would have an 80-metre span and could "dry out farmland"

"We are proposing a wind farm at the gateway to our iconic Flinders Ranges," she said.

The combined wind, solar and storage project for up to 400MW energy would create more than 200 jobs.

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