Tasmania’s environment watchdog is assessing a proposal for a $200 million wind farm on the state’s West Coast.
The owners of the Granville cattle farm near Zeehan want to install 33 wind towers on their property to generate up to 99 megawatts of electricity.
The Federal Government and the West Coast Council have already granted conditional approval for the proposal.
And the Environmental Protection Agency is assessing a development proposal and an environmental management plan.
The 33 towers will be erected on the farm and an 11km transmission line will be established between the property and the Reece Power Station if the project goes ahead. The proponents claim the project will help drought-proof Tasmania’s hydro-dominated electricity supply network and provide a sustainable supply of renewable energy to both the Tasmanian and national electricity markets.
The wind farm could also reduce wholesale energy costs.
The Granville property comprises about 840ha of private land and 960ha of public land.
It would continue to operate as a cattle farm if the wind farm goes ahead.
The project is expected to create 200 jobs during the construction phase and a number of permanent jobs when it is operational.
West Coast Council mayor Robyn Gerrity said she hoped the project would provide a major boost to the Zeehan, Granville Harbour, Trial Harbour, Queenstown, Strahan, Tullah and Rosebery communities.
Cr Gerrity said the council did not know how many permanent jobs would be created but she hoped it would bring new residents to the area.
She said the council would be able to charge rates based on the value of infrastructure installed on the property if the project got the green light.
The owners of the Granville property have been investigating using the site as a wind farm since 2003.
The farm’s close proximity to the Roaring Forties and the state’s electricity grid is tipped to make the project a success.
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