Five years ago council gave its consent for an energy provider to install up to 18 wind turbines on a property at Snowy Plains but the company says the project is not viable.
In a statement, Origin Energy spokesperson Kathy Howard said the wind farm did not meet the company’s requirements on a number of fronts.
This week Snowy River Shire Council confirmed Origin Energy’s development application for a wind farm lapsed on November 23, 2010. It was first approved on November 15, 2005. Mayor John Cahill and general manager Joseph Vescio met with company representatives in October and were told the wind farm would not be built, as wind measurements were too low.
On the same day, Origin Energy informed property owner David Fletcher the wind farm was not going ahead on his land.
Cr Cahill said the scale of the Snowy Plains wind farm might not have been lucrative enough for Origin Energy. He said energy produced by the maximum 18 wind turbines allowed might not have made costly infrastructure worthwhile.
“I don’t know the exact location at Snowy Plains but I can’t imagine there’s less wind there than at Yass where they’re building 150 wind turbines,” Cr Cahill said.
“Plus all the roads and infrastructure they would have had to develop. Turbines weigh 70 tonne so they couldn’t use the existing bridge and would have had to rebuild over the Nimmo River,” he said.
Cr Cahill said the shire suffered financial loss due to the cancellation of the Snowy Plains wind farm. He also said Mr Fletcher may have lost money.
“This has been going on for five years, a lengthy delay. [The wind farm] would have considerably improved his own income,” Cr Cahill said.
When contacted by the Summit Sun Mr Fletcher asked if Origin Energy had confirmed the project was not going ahead. He said he had no further comment. Epuron, the North Sydney company that sold the wind farm to Origin Energy in 2008, stated the wind farm would power 10,000 homes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80,000 tonnes per annum.
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