Pacific Hydro wins South Australian government approval for Keyneton wind farm, unlikely before 2015 at least, amid community opposition
Pacific Hydro has won approval to construct a 42-turbine, $240 million project near Keyneton in the eastern Mount Lofty Ranges, but has ruled out on any construction work until 2015 at least.
Its proposed wind farm will be sited 6 km west of Sedan and 10 km south east of Angaston and runs approximately 15 km north to south along the Mount Lofty Ranges that border the Barossa region.
It is expected to power the equivalent of 68,000 South Australian homes a year and create 500 jobs during construction, but only about six over the long term.
The company said while the permit is an important milestone there is still much work to be done before any construction can begin, including overcoming community opposition.
“The next stage of the process will include extensive consultation with the local community and a detailed feasibility analysis,” said Pacific Hydro’s Australia general manager Lane Crockett.
“There is still a lot of work to do including meeting the conditions under which the permit has
been granted as well as confirming a connection and finalising commercial feasibility, which will
be directly affected by the outcome of the scheduled review of the Renewable Energy Target in
2014,” added Mr Crockett.
Only 40 per cent the capital investment will come to South Australia, the rest will go overseas because of the limited manufacturing capability in Australia, a company spokesperson said.
Pacific Hydro operates the Clements Gap wind farm in the mid-north.
Planning Minister John Rau and Mineral Resources Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the development had been approved subject to 26 conditions covering both the construction and operation of the wind farm and its associated infrastructure.
They ruled out any concerns of the wind farm being located close to one of Australia’s premier wine regions and said there was “no credible noise-based concern” attached to the development.
“Whenever there is new development on any piece of land whether it is coal seam gas well, whether it’s an iron ore mine on farm land or its wind farms… people always have reasons to oppose it.
“I don’t think we can ignore the independent experts and the independent experts tell us that there are no concerns and we have to accept that.”
The South Australian Environmental Protection Agency recently concluded that the Waterloo Wind Farm near Clare meets relevant South Australian and international standards and there is no evidence linking the noise from the wind farm to adverse impacts on residents.
Minister Koutsantonis said the was no risk of overspruiking the project even though approval on Pacific Hydro’s proposed $350 million Carmody’s Hill wind farm project to the east of Georgetown has already lapsed.
Minister Rau said application for Keyneton was first lodged about 18 months ago and in that time there has been extensive consultation with the public, relevant government agencies and technical experts.
Tony Walker, Chair, Eastern Mt Lofty Ranges Landscape Guardians Inc, said the local community was outraged about what he described as a “death warrant” without enough consultation.
“The people of Keyneton and Eden Valley, Cambrai and Sedan, do not deserve to be treated like second or third rate citizens.
“We have fought and will continue to fight until this project is dead and buried, along with the government that has supported it,” he said.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding