Wind farm’s extended outlook

THE Glen Innes Wind Farm has been set back another year, with renewable energy company OneWind Australia requesting more time to complete a development assessment for the project. 

The renewable energy company lodged a modification request to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for a 12-month extension to its application, which was due to lapse in August this year. 

OneWind had made a similar request for a year-long extension last year.

Although OneWind chief operating officer Paul Stangroom said the project was going “very well”, he stressed the need for government certainty on renewable energy targets (RET) to ensure the completion of the 25 wind turbine farm 15km to the west of Glen Innes. 

“(The extension) is primarily driven by the federal government’s review of the renewable energy targets,” Mr Stangroom said. 

He said the RET required a certain number of megawatt hours to be generated through renewable sources, which would encourage energy retailers to purchase a number of renewable certificates, with the cost going to wind and solar companies as income. 

“We need the incentive, the driver for the government with the renewable energy target,” Mr Stangroom said. 

Mr Strangroom said without the RET incentive, energy retailers would pursue the “upfront” cheapest form of energy – coal. 

“But there is longer-term value in wind – it is a free fuel source,” he said. 

A spokesman for Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the RET review started in February and would be completed “very, very soon”. 

Though the spokesman said he could not provide an exact date, the findings of the RET review are due to be released mid-year. 

“The review is completely independent,” he said, adding that there was no “predetermined outcome”. 

He said a review of the RET was a legislative requirement for the government.

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