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Federal ‘uncertainty’ delays Silverton wind farm

Electricity company AGL has deferred a decision on whether to go ahead with a $500 million wind farm near Broken Hill because of uncertainty surrounding renewable energy regulation.

AGL’s head of generation development Nigel Bean told a meeting in Silverton this afternoon that uncertainty surrounding the date of the federal election, the future of the carbon tax and a possible revision in the renewable energy target were all factors behind the delay.

“We will not be in a position where we can commit to half-a-billion dollars this coming year so we deferred that,” Mr Bean said.

“We’ve told the contractors who were short-listed.

“We’ll look at it again in 2014 when the uncertainty has dispersed a little bit and there’s more clarity.”

Not everyone in Silverton was happy with the wind farm proposal.

Community consultative committee member Helen Murray says it would have been too close to the town.

“I’m happy about the decision,” she said.

“Still, there’s nothing final about the whole thing.

“It’d just be nice if we had some clarity – that it’s either going ahead or it’s not going ahead.”

Albert Woodroffe says he understands the decision

“These people are in the same boat as most other people,” he said.

“(There’s) uncertainty in the government.

“There’s not a lot of clarity in the country. ”

Planning approval for the project runs out in May next year.

Mr Bean told the meeting that AGL’s planned solar power station west of Broken Hill would still go ahead.