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Port Campbell wind farm scrapped

A wind farm development near Port Campbell has been scrapped with its proponents claiming the project was too expensive to develop.

Spanish company Acciona Energy confirmed yesterday it would ditch its Newfield wind farm due to construction expense, geographic location and changed economic conditions.

The $60 million project was set to generate up to 40 construction jobs and the company claimed last year it would fill positions with local applicants.

Acciona Energy community relations senior manager David Clarke said the decision had no bearing on other projects in the company’s portfolio.

He said the company appreciated the co-operation of landholders as well as the Corangamite Shire.

“The relatively small project had unique and costly construction challenges,” Mr Clarke said. “When combined with a tight financial market for renewable energy projects in Australia, it means it is simply not viable.”

In planning work during the past few years, Acciona claimed the Newfield project would have the capacity to generate 22.5 megawatts of power per annum.

The amount of electricity generated by the site would have been enough to power 12,000 households each year

A new Mount Gellibrand wind farm between Colac and Winchelsea is set to be Acciona’s showcase development in the south-west but the axing of the Newfield site is expected not to have an impact on any other projects.

Corangamite Shire chief executive Andrew Mason said Acciona had confirmed in the past few weeks it had withdrawn from the project.

He said the announcement would have a minimal impact on the local community as well as employment opportunities in the region.

“The financial climate over the past few years hasn’t really suited them and there were also heightened costs, so (the announcement) isn’t that surprising,” Mr Mason said.

“I understand that the turbines would be set up on sloping land and constructing them would mean there would need to be complex footing installed to keep them upright.”

Acciona Energy already operates the Waubra wind farm north-west of Ballarat and the Gunning wind farm in New South Wales.