David Clarke, Senior Manager of Community Relations at ACCIONA Energy, said that the most important aspect of community engagement is becoming an active member of the community.
“We place a high emphasis on providing sponsorship to local community groups and organisations, being present at community events, getting involved where we can; then once our wind farms are operational, we have community benefits funds that can benefit that local community through the operations phase,” Mr Clarke said.
Effective investment strategy
The right strategies to invest in a project can be achieved by having defined processes for how projects are located, and how decisions can be made about investing in them.
During the recent development and construction of the Kennedy Wind Farm in Northern Queensland, Windlab Systems outlined four broadly important aspects that need to be considered when choosing a site: wind, grid, planning and availability of land tenure.
“In the case of Kennedy we were able to map the resource for the whole country and identified quite some time ago that there was a strong resource in North Queensland where Kennedy Wind Farm is now, which really allowed us to bring forward our investment in the project,” said Luke Osborne, Regional Director Australia, Windlab Systems.