Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wind farm promises jobs boost

ABC News Online, Posted Tue Mar 31

The developer of a proposed $800 million wind farm says the project will generate 40 jobs and boost income for landholders in the Harden Shire.

Epuron says it is planning to build up to 185 wind turbines over three areas west and south-west of Yass, including about 70 near Jugiong.

Epuron's project manager Simon Davey says about 10 farmers would lease land for the turbines.

"It's going to produce enough electricity for about 170,000 average homes over a typical year which is equivalent to taking about 310,000 cars off the road every year," he said.

"The capital investment in the project is about $800 million, making it one of the most significant infrastructure projects in that part of New South Wales."

Mr Davey says an environmental assessment is being finalised and the State Government will rule on the development.

He says if approval is given, Epuron will then seek finance for the wind farm.

"These projects are good news for the environment, but also very good news for the economy of regional NSW bringing significant investment and jobs," he said.

"We're expecting there'll be about 40 long-term ongoing jobs produced by this project."

Harden Mayor Chris Manchester has expressed some reservations about the proposal including the visual impact.

Mr Davey says the turbines near Jugiong will be visible from the Hume Highway.

"While we appreciate that not everyone likes to look at them, there certainly are a large number of people that think they are visually attractive," he said.

"The only other concern that people raise is in relation to noise, so noise is a concern that's often raised with us and we've got to comply with strict noise criteria set by the Government."

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