The proposed Golspie wind farm has lapsed because the company responsible failed to submit a report on time.
Construction of the 100 turbine project, earmarked for land northwest of Taralga, was due to start in 2014.
A representative from Wind Prospect CWP has confirmed this won’t be the case. The firm didn’t submit an environmental assessment report to the Department of Planning by the end of May deadline.
Wind Prospect CWP has since declined a request for interview by the ABC.
Landholder Charlie Prell, whose property ‘Gundowringa’ is set to host part of the Crookwell Two wind farm, isn’t surprised by the delay.
“I hadn’t heard the company had missed the deadline but I had heard there were significant risk factors associated with wind farm projects moving forward,” he said.
Mr Prell is a member of the Community Consultative Committee (CCC) for the Golspie wind farm and said at this stage he hadn’t been contacted by the chairman or Wind Prospect CWP.
“In fact it’s been around six months since we (the CCC) have met,” he said.
Mr Prell suggests the political climate may be responsible for Wind Prospect CWP’s decision. The company invested time and money hosting an open day last August.
“Under the current federal environment there has been a fair amount of negativity from the Coalition about the future of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) and the future of the carbon tax,” he continued.
“I’m not surprised at all that the company has shelved the project, if this is what they have done.”
Mr Prell said the situation had the potential to make or break landowners in the area.
“I wouldn’t like to be a landholder on a prospective wind farm, including my own,” he said. “No company is going to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into a wind farm without security.”
Wind farm companies aren’t the only ones feeling the pinch. Farmers need the financial support generated by turbines to maintain their livelihood.
“The future for the farmers would be very dubious at this point,” Mr Prell said. “If we don’t get turbines on our land, I won’t be continuing to farm my property. I will be selling it.
“I imagine there are other people in the same financial position after 10 years of drought that I am in.
“We need some secure offfarm income and wind farms are a fantastic way to have that income coming into your property to underpin the agricultural produce of your land.”
Although the Crookwell Two wind farm already has approval, a development application is in the approval pipeline.
“By August we should know one way or another whether we are going to get our wind farm or not,” Mr Prell said.
“If Tony Abbott does all the things he is promising to do… I would seriously doubt the prospect of Crookwell 2 being completed.”
Meantime a notice of determination requesting a reduction in the number of turbines proposed for the Taralga Wind Farm has been submitted.
CBD Energy on June 18 filed the request to the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure. The firm asks that the number of turbines be reduced from 61 to 51.
– With Crookwell Gazette
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