Plans by Pacific Hydro -- about to pass into IFM Renewable Energy ownership -- for a 100 MW, 70 turbine wind farm at Yaloak, 80 kilometres west of Melbourne, have been rejected by an independent panel. The project poses an "unacceptable risk to the wedge-tailed eagle," it says, while other concerns involve the planned site and design of the project. Victoria's state government has backed the panel's ruling. Planning minister Rob Hulls says the government is on track to deliver its target for 1000 MW of renewable energy by 2006, stressing he refuses to approve sites if they do not meet siting guidelines. "The panel found the currently proposed siting and design of this wind farm does not comply with the standards and safeguards we have in place," he says. "There is not a one-size fits-all approach to wind farms. Each particular proposal is dealt with on its merits. Wind farms need to be properly located to deliver sustainable outcomes for our natural environment, landscapes and rural communities."
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