Dozens of giant wind turbine blades are being unloaded at a Far North Queensland wharf as part of another massive wind farm project for the region, despite opposition from the community.
Twenty-eight turbine generators will be erected at the Kaban Green Power Hub, 48 kilometres south of Mount Emerald in the picturesque Atherton Tablelands.
The 79-metre, 32-tonne blades have been arriving at Cairns Wharf from where they will be driven on semi-trailers up a winding range to the farm, which is being built by the Australian arm of French energy company Neoen.
The project will be spread across 1,300 hectares of grassy woodlands and open forest and is due to start operating in 2023.
Environmental campaigner Steven Nowakowski said he had serious concerns about the number of wind farms being built across the Atherton Tablelands and warned that the area could become enclosed by a “giant ring of steel”.
He said with the 53-turbine Mount Emerald Wind Farm already in operation and the Kaban wind farm under construction, residents should be concerned about a third farm proposed for the area – the Chalumbin Wind Farm.
“Kaban is just a baby of a project compared to Chalumbin – it is five times bigger,” Mr Nowakowski said.
“These wind farms combined are going to surround Ravenshoe in a ring of steel.”
The proposed Chalumbin Wind Farm would see 94 generators built across two cattle grazing properties south-west of Ravenshoe.
With a height of 160m and a blade width of 90m, the turbines – some of which would border the Koombooloomba National Park – would be among the biggest in the country.
Hundreds of hectares of vegetation would be cleared for the project and the turbines would generate enough electricity to power 350,000 Queensland homes.
All boxes checked, Minister says
Queensland Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Minister Mick de Brenni was at the wharf as the huge blades were unloaded.
He said the project would create 250 jobs.
“All major projects like this go through a rigorous environmental assessment process,” Mr de Brenni said.
“We have a stringent and robust framework here in Queensland and this project is required to meet that.
“It has to stack up – if it stacks up, it’s allowed to proceed.”
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