Cooktown one step closer to wind farm

The following comes from The Cairns Post, journalist: Heather Beck

THE Archer Point wind farm project near Cooktown has taken an important step forward with news of a lease agreement between traditional owners and proponents National Power.

The site is slated for a 50-60 turbine wind farm with a generation capacity of 120mW – enough to power Cape York Peninsula while supplementing Port Douglas and Cairns.

Cook Shire Council is in favour of the project, which will provide jobs and may open up possibilities for light industry once a regular power supply and barge access is established.

Mayor Peter Scott said he was thrilled at the progress, which was announced at a presentation attended by representatives of the community, council, National Power, Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation and traditional owners.

“Everybody is very excited here with the positive forward momentum,” Cr Scott said.

“Archer Point is a beautiful spot but it’s also one of the windiest places on the east coast, which makes it ideal for this.”

With access agreements in place, the next step involves putting up meteorological masts that will start gathering data to confirm wind levels are high enough for a wind farm.

Flora and fauna and cultural heritage studies will be undertaken as the area is home to brahminy kites and contains sites of indigenous importance.

Detailed environmental studies will be required to ensure the stability of the ground, as the 80m towers will each have 65 tonnes of machinery at the top.

The Archer Point project may not face the same level of opposition that wind farms on the Tableland have recently received, given that the remote area has no one living nearby.

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