ARARAT - Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus, visited Ararat's impressive 52.5MW Challicum Hills wind farm which marks its 10th anniversary this year.
"The Challicum Hills wind farm generates enough clean electricity to supply approximately 26,000 Victorian homes each year and has created significant employment, investment and tourism opportunities in this region," said Mr Dreyfus.
"This is a great example of what can be achieved when the private sector, local businesses and community members work together to produce a positive environmental, social and economic outcome."
General manager of Pacific Hydro Australia, Lane Crockett, highlighted the strong community support for the wind farm.
"It is a pleasure to welcome the Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency to this iconic, renewable energy project, which has abated more than 1.5 million tonnes of carbon pollution since it started operations in 2003," Mr Crockett said.
"The Challicum Hills wind farm has also returned more than $380,000 from the sale of electricity back to 151 local community projects that encourage social and environmental sustainability," he said.
Re-vegetation programs at Challicum are also helping to protect local biodiversity and improve the habitat of indigenous wildlife.
"The local Ararat community is leading the way for other regions now investing in clean energy and taking responsible action to combat climate change. I wish the community every success as it creates a cleaner energy future," Mr Dreyfus said.