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Acciona Energy scraps $70m Allendale wind farm project

Acciona Energy has scrapped plans for a $70 million Allendale wind farm in the state’s south east, saying it is commercially unviable.

The international infrastructure and energy company said it had conducted several years of detailed investigations into the proposed 46 turbine wind farm, about two km’s east of Allendale, and had come to the decision that the project’s economics did not stack up.

However, Grant District Council Mayor Richard Sage yesterday told the ABC legislative changes and community pressure could have been factors in the withdrawal.

The Allendale wind farm project, which Acciona Energy said would create 360 jobs, had been the subject of intense legal wrangling.

In November 2011, the company withdrew a Supreme Court appeal against an Environment Resources and Development Court ruling that the wind farm would detract from the existing character of the area.

Acciona Energy, which jointly owns the Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm, instead committed to preparing a new planning permit application to the local council.

Opposition energy spokesman Martin Hamilton-Smith yesterday said the State Government had failed to unite local residents behind the project and had made a mess of community consultation.

Energy minister Tom Koutsantonis said South Australia had successfully attracted $3 billion in capital investment in wind farm projects, leading to 842 direct related jobs and 2526 total jobs.