“Our host landowners enter commercial agreements to host turbines on their property, which allows them to diversify their income stream. We also develop near-neighbour benefit-sharing strategies to recognise the potential impact for neighbours and allow them the opportunity to share in project benefits through a commercial neighbour agreement,” Titchen says.
Sharing the benefits of projects more broadly continues throughout the project lifecycle. For example, the White Rock Wind Farm sponsorship fund has provided more than $100,000 across many different local community groups during the construction phase. Now the project is operational it will contribute $175,000 each year to the community fund administered by the local council.
The Stockyard Hill Project community investment program is also under way. The fund currently contributes $120,000 each year to the community – that will step up to $300,000 each year during the operation.
Training future generations
For Skipton Primary School, funding from Goldwind Australia enabled the school to reinstate its sustainability program.
Principal Calvin Tromp says: “The program sets our kids up for the future. It trains future citizens about the wise use of resources and how to live in harmony with the environment.”
The Goldwind sponsorship funds a teacher one day per week, managing a program right across K-6. The program covers a wide range of themes, including appreciation of local flora and fauna, productive gardening, being wise with water, reducing waste, valuing biodiversity and generating energy as a renewable resource. “We need to think differently about how we use energy and resources now, and the program teaches kids to start thinking about how our present lifestyle has consequences for future generations.”