Wind farms to blow energy into Tasmania

Plans for a windy Tasmania are underway with three proposed wind farms making significant announcements in the past two months.

About 92 new wind turbines could be up-and-running within the next five years if the projects, totalling $640 million, are all approved and built.

Energy Minister Matthew Groom said support for renewable energy had been consistently strong for many years and “will be ongoing”.

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“We remain very confident of our future renewable development potential and that potential has been reinforced in recent weeks with significant further wind development announcements,” Mr Groom said.

On Friday, public consultation started for Low Head Wind Farm, which proposed a $50 to 60 million, 10 turbine wind farm to be built on coastal land between Low Head and Beechford in the state’s north.

Founder and director Shane Bartel said wind farm would be able to “piggy back” off the recently announced Wild Cattle Hill Wind Farm in the central highlands.

Joining with the central highlands’ project partner, Goldwings, would enable large cranes necessary for the project to move to the Low Head project upon completion inland, saving the project money, he said.

Ideally, Mr Bartel said the project would be approved by the end of the year with building starting in the 2018/2019 summer.

The $300 million, 49 turbine Wild Cattle Hill Wind Farm is set to be completed by 2020, after it was announced last month.

A power purchase agreement between Westcoast Wind Pty Ltd and Hydro Tasmania was announced late last month for the $280 million, 33 turbine Granville Harbour Wind Farm.

Groom said, “We have continued to advocate in support of policies that can further strengthen our reputation as a renewable energy powerhouse in response to the recent Finkel Review and in pursuing the Battery of the Nation initiative in partnership with the Commonwealth Government”.

“The future potential for these types of projects is positive.”