AFTER years of uncertainty and delays, the Mt Mercer wind farm has finally secured a time for construction to start.
In December this year, people in the region will see the two-year construction process get under way.
Mt Mercer wind farm project director Wes Ferguson said the announcement had been a long time coming.
“It’s been a long race just to get to the starting block,” Mr Ferguson said.
The wind farm was first discussed six to seven years ago, with a long process in getting permits for turbines and electrical wires approved.
Once operating, the 64-turbine farm will be able to provide power to 80,000 homes and will be operated by Meridian Energy Australia.
“Our job is to deliver efficient sources of renewable energy to the market and assist electricity retailers to meet the MRET liabilities, improve choice and price for Australian electricity consumers,” Mr Ferguson said.
He said the farm would provide many jobs for the region, with 200 employment positions during construction and 20 permanent jobs when construction is completed.
Mt Mercer farmer Andy Cameron said the community had been waiting for the announcement for a long time.
“We knew it was coming, we just didn’t know when,” he said.
Mr Cameron was a voice that spoke out against the construction in the early phases, but said he had accepted there would be turbines in the area.
“They exercised their democratic right to apply for a permit, we exercised our democratic right to oppose it, and they won.
“My family have been in the area for four generations and I hope we’re here for another four more.”
Mr Ferguson said now that construction has a start date, he hopes the company will engage with the people of the area.
“During construction, Meridian will continue to engage the local community to ensure the benefits of the wind farm are maximised and any impacts minimised.”