Wind powers a futuristic farm

The ReGenesis team with their new wind turbine. Photo: Jeff Dawson.

An innovative Byron shire farm is paving the way forward for ecological food production by installing a 20kw wind turbine the first of its kind in the Byron Shire that will provide enough energy to power the farms on site irrigation system and cool room.

The Byron Shire Council has welcomed and approved the wind turbine but not without controversy and opposition from community members concerned about fauna, visual and noise impacts.

Consequently the Council has only approved a 12-month trial, during which a rigorous assessment and monitoring of fauna and noise impacts will be undertaken.

Other locals voiced concerns about birds or even hang gliders flying into the blades, the blades falling off and injuring people, and that the 30-metre high tower would be a visual eye-sore.

There are a lot of people who seem to feel wind turbines are ugly, said ReGenesis managing director, Danielle Leonard. But if were going to respect the future generations of this planet then perhaps we have to change our opinion of what is ugly. This wind turbine is going to save the atmosphere thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases, so I think that makes it beautiful.

ReGenesis is a 130-acre research farm, established by an American environmentalist, Elaine Seiler, that is committed to demonstrating agricultural independence from fossil fuels and petro-chemicals. Since it began in 2001 it has become a living laboratory, constantly exploring alternative technologies for sustainable agriculture.

Using alternative energy has always been part of the plan at ReGenesis and wind energy is the most cost effective form of energy we have right now, said Danielle. In the near future I think were going to see a lot more of it.

Amongst many other projects, ReGenesis sells organic herbs, vegetables and fruit locally as well as in Sydney. With the introduction of the wind power and the conversion of farm vehicles to diesel or bio-diesel fuel, ReGenesis is moving toward total energy self-sufficiency and ecologically sustainable food production.

ReGenesis is always looking for expressions of interest from manufacturers of new technologies for on-farm trials and demonstrations. For more information phone ReGenesis on 6684 8162 or visit

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