Saving the Heartland – SA’s Yorke Peninsula

STT recently gave you an insight into the fight to keep Yorke Peninsula turbine free and, therefore, able to keep doing what it does best – producing food and fibre – in No Blacker day for the Greens.

Here’s a follow up that appeared in The Sunday Mail
May 12, 2013
by Mike Smithson.

Ill wind may hurt farmers

There’s a growing speculation that some of the benefits of wind power generation are a load of hot air. the State Government’s own hand-picked expert, who’s canvassed opinion throughout regional communities, has dished up plenty of food for thought about future wind approvals.

Former National Party MP Peter Blacker told a parliamentary committee this week of the growing downsides, especially in prime agricultural areas. His dark-cloud observations came as the Government prepares to approve a 199-turbine facility on the Yorke Peninsula, worth about $1.3 billion.

20130516-082145.jpg

Green groups and even our own “Mr Windy”, former premier, Mike Rann, can only see the upside of such renewable energy sources. In this case the new Ceres installation west of Black Point would keep churning green power back into the grid via an undersea cable straight across Gulf St Vincent.

But there are counter arguments against this facility which stretch further than blighting the landscape or causing noise pulse headaches throughout surrounding communities.

Blacker says the wind shear from turbines, whooshing their way to earning their keep, spreads an unstoppable airflow across a vast area.

The says the unnatural slip stream will cut an 800sq km swathe across the peninsula.

He showed a graphic aerial image of mist from an overseas plant corkscrewing its way as far as the eye could see. Apply this to aerial spraying of pest or herbicides and farmers may find their expensive chemicals landing on far away crops or even out to sea.

It also makes fighting a locust plague almost impossible with the unpleasant little critters at the mercy of the windmills rather than crop dusters.

Blacker is even more concerned that aerial fire-fighting will be severely hampered to the point of endangering crops, livestock and humans.

He contends that wind farm approvals should be limited largely to non-arable areas around the state. With only 5 per cent of South Australia considered first-class cropping terrain, he says we’ll eventually need all the food that we can produce.

That means utilising every square centimetre of top soil for food rather than wind power.

And his advice to farmers, who get seduced by giant power companies with enticing agreements to lease their land, is to think again.

According to him they’re forced into signing top secret contracts which don’t allow them to discuss the deal with anyone, let alone lodge complaints if any arise. His investigations show interstate farmers have seen their family-silverware farming acreage drop in value when they assumed it would do exactly the opposite.

So are his alarm bells warranted? Predictably, the Greens say there is not enough hard evidence to support his dark warnings and refute claims of property devaluation.

Blacker says careful thought should now be given to sticking new wind farms in the sea as already happens in the northern hemisphere. Steep hilltops also wind favour along with remote pastoral land.

Labor’s mantra seems to be wind power at all costs. But the Victorian-based Australian Energy Market Operator has another interesting insight.

It says wind generation in SA is well managed, but creates challenges. AEMO’s calculations show the greatest wind power output occurs on the lowest demand days. In other words, some of our hottest days are the least windy. Over a typical heatwave the turbine rotors barely turn for 3 days of a four-day peak demand. On that basis alone, there must surely be warning signs over the size and location of such massive investments.

Mike Smithson

STT loves a graphic, so here’s what Peter Blacker was saying.

Try doing this:

spray 1

Or this:

aerial_application

Or this:

fire bombing

In the middle of an environment like this:

20130516-080039.jpg

Any takers?

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Far too much pain….far too little gain.

Trackbacks

  1. […] some time STT has been following the battle to save the Heartland – on SA’s Yorke Peninsula and home to Australia’s best barley growing […]

  2. […] our recent post on the battle for the Yorke Peninsula Heartland  we asked whether there were any takers prepared to try doing […]

  3. […] FARM PRODUCTION – impacts on rural production where the opportunity to use aerial spraying for fertilizing crops and pastures or for weed and pest control is […]

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