The 63-turbine wind farm proposed for the Bulgana area in western Victoria has been given the final go-ahead.
The Northern Grampians Shire approved Enerfin’s planning application for the $460 million project several months ago
However, the proposal needed to be assessed under national environment laws.
Enerfin spokesman Brett Thomas said construction could start in the second half of 2016.
“The project was given [a] planning permit by the Northern Grampians Shire Council and then … we applied to the Federal Government for clearance under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and we’ve received that clearance this week,” he said.
“So the project has all its environmental and planning permits required to go ahead.
We are talking to the network companies about how we connect the project to the transmission system that runs up through that area.
“We’re talking to providers of wind turbines and all the other infrastructure that is needed to build the project and going through those discussion to refine the technical design of the project.”
RET impasse blamed for delaying Ararat wind farm plans
Meanwhile, the Australian Wind Alliance said the financing of the Ararat Wind Farm should have happened years ago.
The wind farm in south-west Victoria became the first project to benefit from the restoration of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) last week.
A global consortium of investors has committed to the $450 million project, which is set to inject about $8 million into Ararat’s economy.
The alliance’s Andrew Bray said the impasse over the RET held the project back.
“It does remind us of the opportunities that have been lost over the last two years as the Government has attacked the Renewable Energy Target and pulled it down as far as they possibly could,” he said.
Last month, Industry Minister Ian MacFarlane said he was “pleased to have brought this to a conclusion”.
“We’re looking forward to the renewable energy industry getting out there and meeting a target which means they have to build more renewable energy generation in the next five years than they’ve built in the last 15,” he said.
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