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Pic: Rob Walls, http://robertwalls.wordpress.com/

It is believed a $2 billion wind farm project is about to be unveiled for King Island off Tasmania’s north-west.

A public meeting has been held on the island to brief the community.

Hydro Tasmania has been investigating new wind farm sites throughout the state.

There are already several turbines on King Island.

The local council, state government and Hydro Tasmania are remaining tight-lipped about the venture, but a government spokesman has confirmed a major renewable energy announcement will be made on Wednesday.

Former Hydro Chairman Peter Rae says King Island is ideally placed for a large scale wind farm, and a $2 billion project would generate a huge amount of energy.

More, ABC Online here

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• More than two years ago Chris Harries wrote on Tasmanian Times:

The preferred option would be to bypass King Island; however there appears to be a secondary option for it to partly go across land on King Island, perhaps for the advantage of linking in with wind power on the island? Basslink No. 2, here

Chris’ comment was treated with a degree of scepticism ... few believed his prediction then that part of the aim of a 2nd Basslink would be to build large scale wind on King Island and for that to be a ‘stepping stone’ to the mainland.

Said Chris today: “King Island has prime wind characteristics, so I’m not surprised by the development prospect.

“It needs to be noted that a far as I am aware the project to be announced today will entail a preopective undersea link to Victoria. Whether or not a full cable is eventually installed, Basslink Mark 2, is not known.”

• Kim Booth: KING ISLAND WIND FARM PROPOSAL

Kim Booth MP
Greens Energy Spokesperson
Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Tasmanian Greens today said a proposal by Hydro Tasmania for a 200 turbine wind farm on King Island had potential.

Greens Energy spokesman Kim Booth MP said, subject to the necessary planning approvals and validated by a profitable business case, the project promised to be a significant boost for both renewable energy generation and jobs on King Island.

“This is an interesting proposal on the face of it, but a lot of work still needs to be done to determine both the business case and the level of community support,” Mr Booth said.

“There’s no doubt that the construction of a wind farm of this scale would deliver a major short term jobs boost for King Island following the closure of the abattoir.”

“King Island is well placed for wind powered generation, but a long way from the market, however if the business case stacks up, it could help Australia’s transition to a low carbon economy.”

“The Greens will be using Government Business Enterprise Estimates hearings next week to scrutinise this project in greater detail, to establish what work Hydro has done to establish a solid business case, to ensure that Tasmanians are not being sold false hope.”

“Given the massive scale of this development, the first step will be to get the tick of approval from island residents and private landowners before anything else happens.”

“The Greens will work to ensure that this project, if it receives planning approval, delivers a net benefit to the Tasmanian taxpayers and energy users, who own Hydro and expect their money to be wisely invested.”

• Paul O’Halloran: The Tasmanian Greens Member for Braddon Paul O’Halloran today said a proposal by Hydro Tasmania for a 200 turbine wind farm on King Island had exciting potential.

“Provided that it clears the necessary planning approvals, the project would be a real shot in the arm for King Island economy just when it’s needed most.”

“The closure of the abattoir has been a big setback for the community, and there’s no doubt that a wind farm would be a much-needed boost for employment and sustainable economic activity.”

“King Island is almost purpose built for renewable energy generation, and ideally placed to take advantage of Australia’s transition to a low carbon economy.”

“If the project does clear the necessary planning approvals, being able to boast Australia’s biggest wind farm would be a great thing for Tasmania’s clean and green image.”

“Given the massive scale of this development, the first step must be to get the tick of approval from island residents and private landowners.”

“The Greens will work to ensure that this project, if it receives approval, delivers a net benefit to all Tasmanian taxpayers and energy users, who own Hydro and expect their money to be wisely invested.”

“In particular we will be interested in examining the scope for this project to tap into the Tasmanian grid, as this is just as important as any opportunity to sell Tasmanian generated renewable energy into the national market.”