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Where will it be?

The proposed site for the Mt Emerald Wind Farm is on private land on the plateau adjacent to Mt Emerald/ Springmount area.

  • Approx ½ way between Mareeba and Atherton.
  • 5km west of Walkamin
  • Oaky Creek Farm site

The Wind Farm and surrounding land is zoned Rural. Rangeview is zoned Rural Residential.

Why here?
The land comprises around 2,400 hectares, whose orientation and elevation make it ideal as a wind farm.

  • It has an excellent wind source.
  • There are relatively few residences in close proximity to the site.
  • It is close to the electricity grid, reducing the length of the transmission line.
  • Preliminary studies indicate minimal environmental and social impact.

The site land is a rough plateau (el. 900m) elevated approx 300m above the surrounding plains and is comprised of largely sparse natural scrub land with some rocky outcrops. The property is currently not used for any particular farming activity. The surrounding land is predominantly used for grazing and agriculture. The local landmark, Mount Emerald (el. 1122m) is roughly 2km from the southern boundary of the site.

How big will it be?

  • The project has been revised from 75 turbines down to 63 turbines due to the EIS findings, site investigation and to address community requests and concerns.
  • Generating up to 225 MW of power from this site.
  • Towers will be approx 80-90 m high with approximately 50m blades, utilising 3 MW machines.
  • Supplier – yet to be finalised.

Current estimates suggest the wind farm would produce enough clean energy to provide the annual power needs of more than 75,000 North Queensland homes.

Who?
Mt Emerald Wind Farm is an equal partnership between Ratch Australia Corporation and Port Bajool Pty Ltd.

RATCH – Australia Corporation (RAC) owns and operates over 750MW of power generating assets including the Windy Hill Wind Farm and owns a number of other wind farm development sites in Australia.

  • RAC was formerly Transfield Services Infrastructure Fund (TSI), an ASX listed company with TW Power Services holding about 44% of its shares.
  • On July 5 2011, Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding (RATCH) acquired 80%, with TWPS reducing its stake to 20%. Ratchaburi was established in 2000 and is Thailand's largest independent power producer, with a combined installed capacity of 4,500MW (in Thailand and Laos). With the TSI acquisition, total operational capacity has grown to 5,400 MW
  • Day-to-day management of RAC remains largely unchanged with a mostly Australian management team.
  • There is a strong commitment by Ratchaburi and TWPS to grow the Australian business

Port Bajool, with directors John Morris and Jim Noli, has developed property in the Port Douglas and Tablelands areas for over 30 years. They remain the major landholders at Oaky Creek Farms and are keen to ensure that the wind farm makes a positive contribution to the neighbourhood as well as the general Cairns/Tablelands region. Morris is credited with establishing Port Douglas as a resort destination having developed and operated Radisson Treetops Resort and Port Douglas Reef Resorts and the Rainforest Habitat.

When?
The Development Application initially lodged with Tablelands Regional Council.  It was transferred to Mareeba Shire Council after de-amalgamation as of January 1, 2014. Following this assessment a decision will be made on whether to approve the development. Once approved construction is expected to start immediately. The project is being considered for ‘call in’ (approval) by the Queensland Government.