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Work on Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown to create 250 construction jobs

WORK on a new 100-turbine wind farm in South Australia’s mid-north is expected to start within months, creating up to 250 jobs during construction.

Canberra-headquartered Neoen Australia’s $250 million investment in the Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown was signed off by state Planning Minister John Rau on Friday, with its first stage of 100 megawatts production planned to be in operation in 2017.

Two South Australian firms, Catcon for civil construction and CPP for electrical works, have been confirmed as contractors by Neoen Australia managing director Franck Woitiez.

It is believed to be the state’s first new wind farm construction since the Federal Government’s political compromise in May on reducing the nation’s Renewable Energy Target to 33,000 gigawatt hours by 2020, down from 41,000 gigawatt hours.

“The certainty is a good thing for the industry and for us it’s also been helpful to have the support of the Australian Capital Territory government,” Mr Woitiez said.

Earlier this year, the ACT awarded the French renewable energy company a 20-year feed-in tariff for electricity generated by the 100 megawatts first stage of the 315MW capacity power project.

He said the company had a 1.5 gigawatt project portfolio including looking at other South Australian projects but the Hornsdale Wind Farm was “one of the best sites in Australia for a wind farm”.

Northern Areas Council Mayor Denis Clark welcomed the news saying the company had engaged with the community and while “not everyone is going to agree” he believed it was positive news for the town and the community.

“It creates employment for the whole council area,” he said.

State Climate Change Minister Ian Hunter said the wind farm project again reinforced the state’s reputation as the country’s leading renewable energy state, with 41 per cent of the nation’s installed wind energy capacity.

“Our state has an international reputation. If it were a nation state, South Australia would be second only to Denmark in regard to wind energy,” he said.

“We’re glad the Federal Government have at last settled on a sustainable RET for the future, and we welcome the Labor Opposition’s promise to boost renewable energy generation to 50 per cent.”

Neoen and its Australian partner, Megawatt Capital, have acquired more than one gigawatt of wind farm development sites in Australia from Investec Australia, including the Hornsdale farm.

“This project helps reinforce South Australia’s reputation as the country’s foremost renewable energy state, and helps contribute to the $10 billion low carbon investment target as well as the (state’s) 50 per cent renewable energy target , both to be achieved by 2025,” Mr Hunter said.

Source: Herald Sun

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