Crystal Brook Energy Park Supporters

The people of the world must act on climate change and act urgently. The people of Crystal Brook and district have the choice of embracing that action or we could say action on climate change is needed, but it should be somewhere else.

We who support the Crystal Brook Energy Park will be able to tell our children and grandchildren that we did what we could to minimise the damage to the world that we passed on to them.

In August 2019 we had good news; the energy park had received government approval.

This page was written 2017/08/10, last edited 2023/08/17
Contact: David K. Clarke – ©


Wind turbines at Jamestown
Jamestown wind turbines
Broken Hill Solar Farm
Solar farm
If built the Crystal Brook Energy Park will include 26 wind turbines of up to 4.8 MW each (a total of 125 MW), up to 100 MW of solar PV and up to 130 MW/400 MWh of lithium-ion battery storage. It aims to provide clean renewable energy, not just when the wind blows or when the sun shines, but whenever it is needed, up to 24 hours a day.

The people who support the energy park love the natural world the way it is, the great majority of the world's people do too. Climate change will cause huge damage. Some of the supporters, like me, the writer of this page, are old, they will not suffer from the damage, but they know that their grandchildren, and yours, certainly will.

If the proposed Crystal Brook Energy Park is built it will result in a reduction of around six hundred thousand tonnes of greenhouse carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere each year, slowing climate change, reducing ocean acidification, sea level rise and ocean warming. And by decreasing the amount of coal being burned to generate electricity it will reduce the air pollution that kills millions of people world-wide each year. It will be an excellent sustainable development in our community for a number of reasons.

Neoen, the company that will build and run the energy park, have promised $80,000 each year for community development projects. This will be a great boost for sporting clubs and all community associations. Bowman Park is just one of many community assets that will benefit.

In June 2019 I started to revegetate the railway reserve in the middle of Crystal Brook; it had been neglected for the more than forty years that I had lived in the town. The community development money from Neoen could help convert this land into a park that is a credit to the town.

There will be many jobs and work for local contractors during construction. There will be five to seven full time jobs; that is not trivial in a small country town. There will be increased activity and turnover for many local businesses.

The world faces a choice between a green or a black future, between fossil fuels – coal mines, fracking for gas, air pollution that kills millions of people each year – or clean, green, renewable energy. We know which way we want the world to go, what about you?

The Crystal Brook Energy Park will be something that all local people who care about the future of their community and planet can be very proud of.

An example of just one of the winners if the Energy Park is built

Homestead garden area of Bowman Park
Drone photo, 2018/06/16
Bowman Park, 5 km up the brook from Crystal Brook township, is the town's most valuable asset. For the more than forty years that I have had a house in Crystal Brook those who support Bowman Park have struggled to find funding for maintenance and improvement of the park.

If the Energy Park is built the supporters of Bowman Park will be very well placed to obtain a share of the $80,000 per year that Neoen have promised in community funding.

A recent proposal is for a nature playground in Bowman Park. This would have a very strong chance of attracting funding from Neoen.

The photo on the right is of the walled garden area of the old Bowman homestead. The ruins of the main homestead building is at the bottom right.

All local community clubs and associations will be able to benefit from Neoen's Community Enhancement Funds.

How can you help support this wonderful development?

Poll; Flinders News Internet site.
Poll results
This is the result of a poll conducted in the Flinders News, in and article written by Piper Denholm and dated 2018/03/07.
If you want to publicly add your support you could post a message or supportive comment on the Northern SA – Leading Australia Facebook page;

You could write a letter to one of the local newspapers.

You could place a supporter's sign on your front fence. Contact David Clarke (email, phone 0400 256 125)

On-line poll

A poll conducted by the Flinders News (results in the image on the right) suggest that the Energy Park has strong support (for more on the poll see my page on Why I support the local wind farm).

Another poll was conducted, again by the Flinders News, following state government approval of the energy park in August 2019. It again showed overwhelming support for the project. (See more in Let's have a progressive Port Pirie.)

The importance of acting on climate change

Australia has among the highest per-capita greenhouse emissions of any country; therefore we have a higher moral responsibility to act to reduce those emissions than most other nations.

Climate change is going to be a huge disaster. We are seeing examples of this periodically, at the time of writing (2018/07/09) flooding in Japan had just killed more than 80 people, 1.5 million had been ordered to leave their homes and three million more advised to do so. Climate change scientists have been telling us for many years that extreme weather events would become more frequent with climate change.

Crystal Brook Energy Park, if built, will reduce Australia's greenhouse emissions by about 600,000 tonnes each year.

Misinformation from the opponents


Honesty, openness

If the opponents had done their research and if they were honest they would admit that their objections are that they don't want to see wind turbines and they don't want to even occasionally hear turbines.

They would also admit that they don't much care about the advantages that the Energy Park will bring the community, the region, the state, the nation and the planet; they only care about their own selfish concerns.

The opponents have published much of the misinformation referred to in the main text in late June 2018 without providing an author's name. It is typical of wind power opponents to publish anonymously, to avoid accountability.

Unwilling to engage

The opponents are not interested in any open discussion. I made a few polite comments on their Facebook page and was promptly blocked. They seem entirely unwilling to engage in any open, honest, evidence-based debate, for example on Facebook.

Scare campaign

It is easy to scare people with the false stories that have been peddled over the years about wind farms, but to do so is dishonest, unethical and just plain cruel.
Those opposed to the Crystal Brook Energy Park have implied that turbines will be 2km from the town; in fact the closest will be 3km. They have implied that turbines will be only 1km from residences; in fact the nearest house with no connection to the wind farm (a weekender) is 1.3km away, all the others are at least 1.5km away.

They have complained about noise, in fact a wind turbine makes far less noise than a car; the noise from the highway two and a half kilometres from town makes far more noise than the wind farm will, and most people probably don't notice the highway noise.

The opponents have stated that "complaints about wind farm noise is (sic) increasing across South Australia, but these are rarely addressed or resolved". This is quite false. In fact the Wind Farm Commissioner, running an office set up specifically to look into complaints about wind farms, has only received a total of about 163 complaints from the whole of Australia, on all matters, not just noise, in two and a half years (October 2015 to May 2018); further, some 145 of the complaints have been resolved.

The opponents have claimed that there are no provisions for decommissioning the wind farm. This, too, is simply false. Neoen have committed to either recondition or decommission at the end of the turbines' useful life.

They have talked about impact on property values, yet most of the evidence is that there is negligible adverse impact on neighbouring property values and, of course, the values of the properties hosting the turbines and solar farm will increase.

They have said that the Flinders Ranges 'extends from Crystal Brook right through to Hawker'. This from a group who uses the name "Flinders Ranges – Windfarm Free". The Flinders Ranges extends 250km further north than Hawker; you'd think they might know that.

The opponents have worked all the imaginary objections as hard as they could. In spite of their claims to the contrary there is no evidence that wind farms turn away tourists and while people have been trying to find a link between wind turbines and health problems no such link has ever been found.

They have also brought up the old infrasound bogie man, probably in the full knowledge that the SA Environment Protection Authority tests showed that there is no more infrasound near wind turbines than elsewhere in the rural environment.

If the opponents of Crystal Brook Energy Park manage to stop the development, they should tell their grandchildren that their efforts increased the amount of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere by 600,000 tonnes per year. And they should also say they stopped a project that would have had great advantages to the community, the region, the state, the nation and the world. They should tell their grandchildren that they were motivated by selfishness and the methods they used were deceit, misinformation, exaggeration and downright lies.

If they stop the Energy Park I hope they will be able to live with their consciences.