Major Granite Belt wind farm project stalls
THE silence is deafening from a Chinese-owned wind farm developer who had touted plans to build on a Granite Belt farm site.
There is still no progress on the Rabbit Ridge wind farm project approved by Southern Downs Regional Council in late 2016.
Goldwind Australia took the reins on the Dalveen-based project in early 2018, which first became a realisation under the stewardship of Brisbane-based businessman Tim Lucas.
Since the takeover, there has no been no news on when or if the project will go ahead.
More damning still, there's no trace of the project on Goldwind Australia's website which lists their projects that are in operation, construction or planning phases.
Mr Lucas said the original idea came about when Ergon proposed to build a new power line from Stanthorpe to Warwick.
"A lot of people were opposed to that idea and I spoke up and said I could offer a cheaper, green alternative," he said.
While all evidence points to Goldwind Australia's project being dead in the water for now, there's positive news on the wind farm front.
Spanish-owned infrastructure giant ACCIONA has announced that they are all systems go on the $1.9 billion MacIntyre wind farm just west of Stanthorpe.
It would be the southern-hemisphere's biggest wind farm according to ACCIONA.
"We will be looking at employing local people and contractors initially and then looking further afield," ACCIONA Energy Australia managing director Brett Wickham said.
The wind farm site was first identified by the company a decade ago and once completed will feature 1700 turbines across 17,000 hectares in the Traprock region.
"The project is scheduled to begin construction in mid-2021, with a gradual start-up in phases to ensure connection to the grid with full technical guarantees for the state's electricity system," Mr Wickham said.
The farm will produce enough electricity to power 700,000 homes.
ACCIONA has reached an agreement with CleanCo, the Queensland Government's newest renewable energy generator, for it to become the independent owner and operator of the wind farm.
It is expected to be progressively connected to Queensland's energy grid from 2022, with 64 kilometres of new powerlines connecting the wind farm to Queensland's electricity network at Millmerran.
The Border Post has tried repeatedly to contact Goldwind Australia but is yet to receive a reply.
A response from Southern Downs Regional Council about the Rabbit Ridge project has been sought.