Wind farm turns five

By Chris Thomson | posted on March 3, 2018

THE Denmark wind farm, contentious during its approval process like the Albany one before it, quietly celebrated five years of operation last week.

On a sunny February 20, five years since the big blades began turning, The Weekender joined wind farm directors on site to reflect on the impact of the farm that now supplies almost 60 per cent of household electricity across Denmark shire.

Member of the wind farm’s board Murray Thornton said the two white turbines had a 10-year gestation period.

“There were just so many bureaucratic, technical, financial and even emotional hurdles,” he recalled.

“For a lot of the objectors there were real strong emotions against it, and for the people who wanted it, there were real strong emotions for it.

“To actually get it done and then have it in production and have it running smoothly as per the projections is just great.”

“The sky hasn’t fallen in, and if you’re coming down to surf, it’s a great resource as you’re coming over the hill to see which direction the wind’s coming from.”

The wind farm is zoned to carry two more turbines, which Mr Thornton said would eventually be built.

“If there was another two turbines, I don’t think there’d be any noise, in terms of objections, whatsoever,” he forecast.

“Our ultimate dream is to have a micro-grid where Denmark can be independent from the state grid – and we’ve got wind, wave and solar and we can effectively go off the grid in terms of production.

“I think for small communities on the edge of the grid that’s a goal, and the State Government is pushing that up at Kalbarri at the moment, and we think Denmark’s a great place to do it in also.”