Wind­farm build will start soon

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Dana Wivell

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.

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