$280m wind farm at Granville Harbour under construction
A massive wind farm project that’ll power up to 46,000 homes is due to start generating electricity by mid 2019.
The $280 million Granville Harbour Wind Farm finally commenced construction this week and will boast 31 turbines and a 112 megawatt capacity once completed.
The construction milestone vindicated the persistent efforts of Granville Farm owner Royce Smith and his business partner Alex Simpson.
“Six years ago me and my friend Alex had a few beers in the shed and decided let’s take on a $280 million project,” the third-generation beef farmer said.
“It’s lucky that Alex had a little bit of background in what we needed to do and I followed along and financed the whole process and to be here today from where we can actually see construction is a pretty big milestone.”
Westcoast Wind Ltd has already signed a deal with Hydro Tasmania to sell power from the Granville Harbour Wind Farm but a connection agreement with TasNetworks has yet to be finalised.
Premier Will Hodgman applauded the collaboration of the state’s energy businesses and the private sector.
He said the project would help the government achieve its goal to make Tasmania 100 per cent self sufficient on renewable energy by 2022.
“There is also an extraordinary opportunity for our state, for our economy, for our community, for jobs right across Tasmania off the back of a blossoming renewable energy sector that has a very strong growth plan,” he said.
Mr Hodgman said renewable energy was one of Tasmania’s “greatest competitive strengths” and there were future opportunities for exporting excess energy.
The Granville Harbour wind farm is expected to create 200 jobs during construction and 10 permanent jobs.
West Coast mayor Phil Vickers said it was “by far” the biggest project in the region in a decade and would have flow-on benefits, particularly for the nearby town of Zeehan.
“For that particular town, it will be a driver for a change that’s well past due,” he said.
“There’s an opportunity in the short term that should not be missed by local business to make the most of the construction period and it could be that step up that’s needed to keep it going along.”
Mr Smith said one of the biggest things he’d learnt throughout the process was “how many companies there are out there willing to invest in a project like this”.
“We’ve had investors all the way from China, South Korea, Germany, who are extremely interested…,” he said.
Source: The Advocate