We are committed to sharing the benefits of our projects by partnering with local programs and initiatives to address key social, economic and environmental needs in the regions in which we construct and operate.
We are committed to being a positive community member and are proud to provide support that makes a real difference
Community Engagement Award
We were proud to receive the Clean Energy Council's 2020 Community Engagement Award for our benefit sharing plan at the Dundonnell Wind Farm.
The plan included the installation of a mini-grid, a road safety fund, support for local not-for-profit organisations, mental health providers and education funding for residents. It creates a lasting legacy by helping the prevention of suicide, supporting vulnerable communities and creating educational opportunities.
Our community engagement approach
Our projects span decades so we work with communities across each phases of a project to build trust and make a material difference for residents and landowners.
Getting it right with the community during the initial planning phase is critical to getting each project off to a good start. The development and construction phases always represent the largest expenditure and the most opportunities to interact with the community.
During this time, we understand that people want to understand what’s going on. So we provide regular information through meetings, updates, newsletters and our information centre as well as forums for the community to feed back to us on our plans and to contribute their ideas.
Because construction involves many people, the project team often has a large presence in the community during this time. We encourage our construction partners to source the resources they need as much as possible from the local community, including labour, materials, transport, accommodation and food. This not only engages the community, it’s also more efficient in terms of project delivery.
There are multiple benefits for communities during this time.
Every wind farm generates direct opportunities for employment in the region, during both the construction phase and once the wind farm is commissioned. Those benefits flow through to a range of other businesses in the area, including:
- Domestic scale electricians;
- Transport operators;
- Competent machine operators;
- General labourers;
- Quarries; and
- Concrete suppliers.
The influx of skilled people into a community during the construction phase is often an opportunity to encourage civil construction and other project delivery partners to use their equipment and expertise to contribute to local community projects. The skate park in the centre of Snowtown is a great example of this. It was sponsored and constructed by Catcon, the civil construction contractor for the Snowtown Stage 2 project.
Longer Term Initiatives
Our long-term support for communities takes many forms. Each community is different and therefore so is each support program. Our programs range from scholarships to 'lend a hand' programs. All up, we contribute more than $300,000 each year to community and environmental initiatives.
In addition, our landowners receive more than $3.4M in rental payments.
Examples of long-term initiatives include:
- Lend-a-Hand foundation at Snowtown
- Support for the Country Fire Service
- Sponsorship of local club, school and community events
- Native vegetation planting and cultural heritage initiatives
- Coordination with the local emergency services
- Wind farm open days
- Sponsorship of sporting events at the wind farms
You can see more of the events and support we offer in communities on our LinkedIn page.