‘Wind’s $10 million local injection’

The following comes from the Yass Tribune.

The Clean Energy Council’s Policy Director Russell Marsh has welcomed figures released by energy company Suzlon, which show around $10 million was spent on local suppliers in Bungendore and the surrounding region during the construction of the Capital Wind Farm.

Suzlon was responsible for the sourcing and construction of turbines for the wind farm, and the company says the large amount of investment directed into the local area shows the strong community benefits from such projects. Suzlon worked closely with a group called the Industry Capability Network to ensure local suppliers and services got a cut of the action.

Local beneficiaries included consulting and training services including OH&S issues; power providers; real estate agencies; hotel and motel accommodation and restaurants; Level 1 accredited electricians; retail sector; security; riggers; steel fabricators; civil works; car servicing and repairs; fencing contractors; and hardware suppliers.

There are currently 12 local service technicians employed at Infigen Energy’s Capital Wind Farm, which will rise to 14 technicians between Capital and nearby Woodlawn Wind Farm. All of these technicians are drawn from the surrounding area including Goulburn and Queanbeyan.

During construction, the Capital Wind Farm created 120 jobs with around 110 people on site each day over the 15-month construction period. According to Mr Marsh, Infigen Energy funded the upgrade of the Taylors Creek road, sponsored the purchase of a fire truck for the NSW Fire Service as well as paying for the mains power to the fire shed direct to Country Energy.

“It’s clear that this wind farm has made a major positive difference to the local area, employing people from Bungendore and many of the surrounding towns. It has also been a sponsor of the Weereewa Festival, the Harvest Festival and the Tarago Show,” Mr Marsh said.

Wind farms boost rural towns

Local business operator Andy Divall needs no convincing of the benefits of wind farms to rural communities, Divall’s, a family owned earthmoving operation in Goulburn, has had key contracts on the Cullerin Range, Gunning, Woodlawn and Capital Windfarms and is hoping to get some work on the Gullen Range Windfarm.

“Wind farms were a great economic stimulus package and employment source for rural communities,” Mr Divall said.

“We had around 25 employees constructing earth and civil works on these wind farms including roads, turbine pads, erosion works and building farm dams.

“Since construction was completed we’ve had ongoing wind farm work with Capital and are also regularly completing quotes and tendering for further wind farm work in the region. We hire out machinery as well as supplying materials and concrete.

“The economic benefits are clear. There have been few opportunities since we’ve been in business like these wind farms and we’d be keen to see them continue,” he said.

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