Schools are permitted to install wind energy systems on suitable sites. Choosing and installing a wind turbine can take several months. Schools must consider the following factors before installing a wind energy system.
Suitability of the school site for a wind turbine
Unlike solar panels, not all school sites are suitable for wind turbines. It is essential that a site has sufficiently strong and consistent winds at the turbine location and low turbulence in the wind. Sites in rural or coastal locations are typically less sheltered and therefore more suited to wind turbines. An annual average wind speed of at least four meters per second is generally considered necessary to make a wind turbine viable. For detailed information about Victoria’s wind resources, schools should consult the Victorian Wind , produced by Sustainability Victoria. The Bureau of is also a useful resource.
Permission for schools to construct wind turbines
Section 16 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 permits schools to construct wind turbines on their site on behalf of the Minister for Education without a planning permit. Schools must, however, check with their local council if a building permit is required, and that the proposed wind turbine complies with relevant planning scheme requirements. The Department encourages schools to consult neighbours to make them aware of any proposed plans.
Available wind turbines
Schools should contact a wind turbine installer to help identify the most suitable wind turbine for their site. The Department encourages schools to purchase wind turbines from an established and reputable manufacturer, to ensure they will provide maintenance support for the life of the wind turbine.
Amount of wind energy to be generated
Schools can estimate the amount of electricity a wind turbine can generate using a ‘power curve’ that can usually be supplied by the manufacturer, and site wind data. Additionally, the contract for the supply and installation of the wind power system should include an estimate of the average annual electricity output (in kWh).
Reviewed 28 June 2021