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Plans for new $875m wind farm at Hexham unveiled

Plans for a new $875 million wind farm featuring 125 turbines near Hexham have been unveiled.

Renewable energy developer Wind Prospect has been exploring the possibility of developing a wind farm whose towers have a tip height of up to 250 metres.

Company representatives visited all dwellings within six kilometres of the proposed wind farm last week.

Wind Prospect general manager of development Ben Purcell said this was the first step after initial feasibility studies indicated the proposed location was very well suited to a wind farm development.

“We have left information packs with residents, including details on our benefit sharing proposal, which will see a total of up to $1.6 million per year paid to eligible dwellings within six kilometres of the project for its 25 years-plus lifespan,” Mr Purcell said.

“We have invited locals to provide feedback on this proposal, which would – in its current form – see individual annual payments range from $2600 to just over $20,000.”

The project is in the early feasibility stage with plans to submit a planning permit application late this year.

If successful, construction would begin in 2022.

Turbines will be spaced about 500 metres apart on the 16,000-hectare site which is located between Hexham, Caramut and Ellerslie.

“We are currently undertaking a feasibility assessment on connecting to the grid, but at this stage it is likely the Hexham Wind Farm would connect to the existing 500kV infrastructure,” Mr Purcell said.

The wind farm will produce enough electricity to power 550,000 homes, and bring a windfall to the Moyne Shire of up to $900,000 in rates each year.

National wind farm commissioner Andrew Dyer said the project would be an “interesting test case” for the shire.

In November, the council voted to oppose any more wind farms in the shire until the state government adopted the commissioner’s recommendations to avoid having multiple wind farms in one location

Those recommendations also include that approvals for wind farms should consider the compounding effect of other wind farms in the area and the amount of community support for wind farm proposals.

Wind Prospect is the company behind the proposed Willatook wind farm.