Windfarm build will start soon
CONSTRUCTION of the $380 million Mount Emerald Wind Farm west of Cairns is scheduled to start next month.
The 180 megawatt Ratch Australia farm, near Mareeba, will be the biggest in Queensland and is expected to provide 150 jobs during peak construction.
Ratch business development manager Anthony Yeates said minor works, geotech studies and site survey work were due to start in December with full construction likely to begin ramping up from March 2017 after the wet season. The wind farm is expected to be operational by September 2018.
Energy Minister Mark Bailey said the farm would use the best of local industry and skills.
“This project will see opportunities throughout the North Queensland’s local supply chain,” he said.
“For example, the towers and turbine will be brought through the Cairns port and transported to site and, during the process, there will also be requirements to employ local professional services,” he said.
“The project is being developed by major renewable investor Ratch Australia and will boost Queensland investment by $360 million, creating 150 direct jobs during construction.”
He said the wind farm project was secure with a 25-year grid connection agreement with State Governmentowned Powerlink.
“It follows governmentowned Ergon Energy’s commitment to purchase all of the electricity generated by the wind farm through to the end of 2030 ...”
Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the power station would be 100 per cent carbon neutral jobs.
“Crucially this will deliver new job opportunities in an area of need here in the Far North,” he said.