King Island feasibility study to begin

kingTHE development of a 200-turbine wind farm on King Island is one step closer, with Hydro Tasmania set to conduct a project feasibility study.
If the wind farm goes ahead it will be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, and will tie back to the national grid via a high voltage underwater cable under the Bass Strait.
A survey of local residents showed 59 per cent were in favour of a feasibility study – a number Hydro Tasmania spokesperson Andrew Catchpole said was a positive indicator of local support for the project.
“We have always said that 60 per cent would be a good indication of broad community support,” he said. “We got 59 per cent and that is a very good result.”
Mr Catchpole acknowledged the concerns of some King Island residents, which included visual impact, noise, and health impact concerns.
He said Hydro Tasmania would undertake further wind measurements and discuss potential sites with landowners to determine where an economically viable wind farm could be developed with little impact on the community.
Following this he said Hydro Tasmania would devise a model of the proposed wind farm layout, and provide further opportunities for feedback from community members before completing the feasibility process.
Mr Catchpole said Hydro Tasmania would commit to an annual community fund of about $1 million, and that the wind farm would provide jobs for 500 people during construction.
“While we believe the project, if it proceeds to construction, will have a significant and positive impact on the island’s economy there is a long way to go before that happens,” he said.