CONSTRUCTION of the 175 megawatt White Rock Wind Farm located approximately 20 kilometres west of Glen Innes will begin at the end of this month.
White Rock will initially have 70 two and a half megawatt turbines, but planning approval has been granted for 119 turbines which will be constructed in stages.
Owners of the White Rock Windfarm, Goldwind Australia, claim stage one of the project is expected to inject an estimated $35 million into the local economy during construction.
Goldwind Australia Managing Director John Titchen said they are committed to delivering benefits for the local economy.
“We aim to create significant local benefit by facilitating local companies to participate throughout the 18 month construction period and we have worked hard to try and distribute the benefits of the project amongst the community,” he said.
“We have been encouraged by the level of community support for White Rock Wind Farm and the support of Adam Marshall, MP for the Northern Tablelands, the Glen Innes Severn Council and the Inverell Shire Council are appreciated and important as we move into the construction phase of the project.
“The investment in White Rock Wind Farm is being made on the basis of the Australian Government’s legislated Renewable Energy Target and the clear support for this Law by the Australian Government and the Opposition has been an important factor in making this investment commitment.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said the White Rock Wind Farm will generate enough clean, renewable energy to power about 75,000 homes.
“The project at White Rock will drive innovation and create the jobs of the future, while delivering a financial benefit from the investment of public money,’ he said.
“This project will be a fantastic boost for the local economy as it is expected to employ up to 200 people during the construction phase and generate 10 full-time positions over a 20 year period.
“This and other clean energy projects proposed for the region will ensure the New England is a major player in the field and sending power to the New England and beyond and clean energy is essential to meet our emissions reduction targets.”
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said building the state’s largest wind farm at Glen Innes will go a long way towards consolidating the Northern Tablelands’ status as a hub for renewable energy.
“Building renewable energy projects in this region makes sense – on any measure,” he said.
“There’s no coal mined in the Northern Tablelands, and there’s never likely to be, but we have unlimited availability of wind and solar energy so why not harness that energy, and capture some of the revenue from it to build wealth and infrastructure in our own communities?
“The combined wind farm projects in the local area will mean hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of investment in the Glen Innes and Inverell communities.”