More than a decade after the Carmody’s Hill Wind Farm was approved for the Mid North, a revised project has emerged – and residents are having their say on the $350m plans.
Georgetown Hills Renewable Energy wants to build 45 turbines as tall as 200m on cropping and grazing farmland.
The company has bought the project, 7km east of Georgetown, from Pacific Hydro, which had been previously planning 70 smaller turbines.
If approved, work will start by 2022. The project will support 200 direct jobs and 320 indirect full-time positions for up to two years.
The State Commission Assessment Panel has released the plans for consultation.
Georgetown Hills Renewable Energy executive director David Keenan, pictured, said the project was backed by Macquarie Capital – one of the world’s largest investors in renewables – and wind turbine supplier Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.
The company aims to secure all finance for the project by the end of next year.
Mr Keenan said his Adelaide-based business aimed to use local contractors wherever possible to carry out the work.
“We believe this project further strengthens the Mid North and South Australia, generally, as the most progressive region a for renewable energy in the country, as Australia progresses the transition of our energy generation mix,” he said.
“This is the first project we’ve taken on but we’ve got another one or two projects … that we’re looking at here in SA.”
Those projects, also in the Mid North, were “in their infancy”, Mr Keenan said. He did not give further details.
Carmody’s Hill will capture up to 270MW of renewable energy. It will power the equivalent of 179,000 homes and reduce CO2 emissions by 688,000 tonnes each year.
Northern Areas Council chief executive Colin Byles said the project had raised some community concerns, but it would also provide a welcome economic boost.
“It does bring jobs and economic benefit into the town but we have to be considerate of the community needs and expectations,” he said.
Sometimes groups get to this stage and it goes no further but we’re hoping it does proceed reasonably quickly to have jobs for the community.”
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