Tableland turbines powering up
A LEADING Irish green energy provider has joined a flood of interest in establishing a wind farm on the Tableland.
DP Energy has lodged a change of use application with the Tablelands Regional Council in a bid to get approval for a wind trial at Upper Barron.
The Rock Rd proposal, 21km south of Atherton, on cattle breeding and fattening land owned by Trevor and Maureen Pearce, would initially involve the construction of a 60m wind monitoring mast.
DP Energy Australia director David Blake said if the approvals process ran smoothly, a trial could begin within two months.
But he said approval of the trial did not guarantee turbines would be built but it would allow the company to determine the viability of establishing a wind farm.
"Until we have the data it’s dangerous ground to say how many turbines would be built," he said.
"The site looks good but we need to 12 months of data and preferably 18 months to test the viability of the site."
Mr Blake said wind power was a great industry for the area and DP Energy, which has been involved in wind power for 18 years and had 12 sites in Ireland and five in Scotland, saw great opportunities in Australia.
DP Energy’s move follows plans by Tolga Wind Farm to build 20 turbines at Tolga and Transfield Services’ plans to expand its wind power operations on the Tableland.
It already owns Windy Hill, near Ravenshoe, and plans to build 37 turbines near its Windy Hill site as well as a third site at Arriga, near Mareeba, which would have more than 60 turbines.
Tolga Wind Farm is still in the trial phase.
Spokesman Paul Ciraninni said yesterday that five months in, the Tolga trial had yielded excellent results and initial data suggested 20 proposed turbines would be viable.
"We need an average of six metres per second and on some days we are getting an average of 10," he said.
Mr Ciraninni said the trial had another seven months to run and the company was in talks to access more land. He said general feeling in the community had been positive to the proposed $100 million project.
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