Buninyong battery ‘like a jet’

11-07-2018 by admin

The battery seen from Ms Brown’s property. PICTURE: Lachlan BenceSleep-deprivedresidents have compared the noise from aneighbouringPowercor battery at Buninyong to that of a jumbo jet.
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The facility, which will provide the area with power in a blackout once operational, is disturbing those around it with bursts of loud noise and constant buzzing.

Val Brown said they were not coping with the noise from next door.

“It’s quite loud testing, and they started doing it without telling us,” she said.

“It’s like a jet, sitting next to a jumbo jet kind of thing.”

Ms Brown complained to Powercor last week but said nothing had been done.

She told them her mother had to leave their property to get away from the “24/7”noise in an email, and still heard nothing.

This follows the gaffe last month that saw flame retardant spill all over neighbouring properties only days after Powercor turned on the battery.

The company said testing showed the substance was not dangerous, although its manufacturer said it should not be released into the environment.

In a statement on Monday a Powercor spokeswomansaid it had quickly responded to neighbours’ complaints and the noise was addressed at a meeting last week.

“We switched on a load bank on Monday 9 May as part of the battery’s commissioning process, to simulate conditions under which the battery would operate. One of the neighbours informed us that the noise was distressing to them and so we halted the tests that very afternoon,” she said.

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“We suspended commissioning all of last week while we worked towards a consensus with the threeresidents – located within a 150 metre radius of the site – on a schedule of works they were agreeable with.”

The loud testing will only take place during the day now, she said, and should be finished by the end of this week.

The spokeswoman said the neighbours had previously refused offers of alternative accommodation, and reiterated the load bank testing was only temporary.

Mrs Brown said some of the frustration came from the lack of oversight locally on the project.

The battery site is exempt from local planning laws, and so was not advertised.

“The structure is a utility installation under state planning scheme provisions and is therefore exempt from a requirement for a planning permit,” said a City of Ballarat spokeswoman.

Mrs Brown said they had been told it would be one container hardly visible from the road.

Powercor has said it consulted with the community.

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