A newly released Wind Atlas for Victoria not only indicates where the best winds are to be found, it also identifies prime sites for wind development and rules out locations which are environmentally sensitive, in rugged terrain, or are a long way from the electricity grid. The atlas reveals that seven of Victoria's 12 windiest municipalities are inland -- good news for developers. Under current siting guidelines, wind farms cannot be located in National Parks, which make up 43% of the state's coastline and 32% of land within a kilometre of the coast. According to environment minister John Thwaites, the harnessing of Victorian wind will increase regional jobs, particularly in central Victoria between Ararat and Kyneton where high winds have been mapped. The atlas identifies six central Victorian municipalities with significant winds: Hepburn, Macedon Ranges, Mitchell, Moorabool, Murrindindi and Strathbogie. The highest wind speeds were found at Baw Baw Shire where wind farm development is prohibited.
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