May 15, 2012

Clare wind farm to expand

Julian Swallow, 16 May 2012

TRUenergy plans to add six new wind turbines to its Waterloo wind farm near Clare in a $40 million expansion.

The company yesterday said the expansion would increase Waterloo’s capacity from 111 megawatts to 129 megawatts and provide the energy to power over 7500 homes each year.

TRUenergy said a development application could be lodged as early as next month following community consultation sessions that begin today, and construction is expected to be completed by 2013-14.

The expansion would bring the number of turbines at Waterloo to 43.

“Extending Waterloo is a cost efficient means to add additional generation capacity to our portfolio and will increase our renewables output by 10 per cent,” TRUenergy general manager for business development, Ross Edwards, said.

The announcement comes despite delays in the approval process for its planned 123 megawatt Stony Gap wind farm development, about seven kilometres from Waterloo.

A final decision on Stony Gap was expected earlier this month, but Goyder Regional Council requested a further acoustics report examining the noise impact of the proposed 41 turbine wind farm.

That decision is now expected next month. “The current approvals process for Stony Gap has been thorough, which is understandable given it’s the first wind energy project to be assessed under the State Government’s new wind farm planning guidelines,” Mr Edwards said.

“We’ve worked to assist the Goyder Regional Council and their consultants to make the best assessment based on the planning merits of the project and are hopeful of an endorsement to proceed sometime next month.”

Goyder Regional Council did not respond to a request for comment about the planned Waterloo expansion.

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