The town of Ararat is celebrating today with the announcement that the 75 turbine Ararat Wind Farm will commence construction next month. For many years, Ararat has been a fervent supporter of wind energy, as they demonstrated at our forum in nearby Crowlands last year, so the benefits that will flow from this $450 million project are richly deserved.
The project will provide 285 jobs and inject $7-8 million into the town during the construction phase. A $2 million community fund will be created and 123,000 homes will be powered with clean energy.
Local mayor, Paul Hooper (that's him on the left of the photo), said "The opportunity for 42 landowners to drought-proof their properties is of enormous benefit to them," Mr Hooper said, adding that there had been "zero complaints" about the proposal from locals.
We're taking our hat off to ACT Environment Minister, Simon Corbell for driving this project with backing from the ACT government's recent wind auction process. Together with the long-overdue resolution of the federal Renewable Energy Target, it's clear that with clear, long-term government policy settings, wind energy can bring major economic benefits to regional Australia and deliver serious supplies of clean, renewable energy.
Here's the Sydney Morning Herald and the view from investment-land at the Financial Review.