Project. Stanley could become a renewable energy generator as developer Epuron undertakes environmental impact investigations.
The proposed project will be located four kilometres north west of the town centre at the Western Plains property, currently used as pasture land for cattle grazing.
The company has been collecting wind monitoring data for a number of years in order to understand the peninsula’s wind patterns. Detailed environmental studies, including impacts on surrounding flora and fauna, and assessment of potential visual, auditory and traffic impacts are currently being undertaken.
Based in New South Wales, Epuron has been developing wind and solar energy for 15 years. The wind farm would be the first Tasmanian venture for the company.
The proposed Western Plains Wind Farm will house up to 13 turbines and have the potential to yield the highest amount of energy per turbine in the nation, approximately 40 megawatts, according to project manager Shane Bartel.
“The site is an exceptionally windy location in what is probably Australia’s windiest state,” he says.
“Epuron has been monitoring wind flows at the property and the high wind speeds, together with very low turbulence, provide an excellent resource for wind farm development.”
Mr Bartel said the project would connect with the existing substation at Port Latta through new 22 or 33 kilovolt powerlines.
“The power generated would supply Tasmanian energy users, allowing hydro power generators to ramp down and save water during windy periods,” he said.
“This will support Tasmania in becoming the battery of the nation through its ability to store hydro power for times when it is most needed.”
This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from imported electricity, Mr Bartel said.
“By generating up to 200,000 megawatt hours per annum, the project could save around 218,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and provide electricity for close to 23,500 Tasmanian homes.”
Looking to include up to 13 turbines, powerlines, access tracks, and operational infrastructure will also be required to operate the wind farm.
Mr Bartel said the company is looking to engage with the community throughout the planning and approvals process and, if approved, is keen to utilise local services throughout construction and into the wind farm’s operation.
“Flow on effects will benefit a range of local businesses including through provision of accommodation, food, fuel, groceries and other needs for the life of the project,” he said.
Planning and environmental impact studies are expected to continue throughout the year before Epuron submits a development application with Circular Head Council by the end of this year.
An initial site concept has been developed and the official development application will be available to the public allowing for community consultation in the coming months.
Pending project approval, construction is earmarked for next year.