Wind farm accreditation program launched at AusWind conference

A wind farm accreditation program, Certified Wind Farms Australia, was launched by the newly formed Clean Energy Council at this year's Auswind conference. The program will include the documented results of community consultation exercises in independent project audits to ensure any proposed wind farm complies with industry best practice guidelines. Auswind developed the guidelines in 2002 with funding from the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Heritage. A review was undertaken in the second half of 2006 to ensure they continue to reflect best practice by benchmarking them against international and national standards. The guidelines cover site selection, preparation for development application, construction, operation and decommissioning. "Transparent and documented community consultation helps build trust and ongoing local relationships," the council's Dominique la Fontaine told Auswind delegates. "The independent auditing process assists regulators and planners to fulfil their responsibilities. "To date four project development companies are participating in the voluntary program: Roaring 40s, Pacific Hydro, Wind Power Pty Ltd and Wind Prospect.