CORANGAMITE Shire Council’s decision this week to approve a $47 million power terminal at Lismore for the proposed Stockyard Hill wind farm has been welcomed by Origin Energy.
An Origin spokesman said it would “continue development works on the terminal station and the wind farm through 2013” following the council’s 4-3 decision.
“This work will inform Stockyard Hill’s final technical design as well as the timing of any final investment decision on the project,” the spokesman said.
While the project had received numerous approvals, it still had to meet a number of conditions before it progressed to construction, the spokesman said.
The proposed seven-hectare terminal on Lower Darlington Road, seven kilometres south of Lismore, will connect the giant Stockyard Hill wind farm to the national electricity grid.
The proposed wind farm comprises 157 wind turbines between Skipton and Beaufort. It will be one of the largest in Australia with an estimated cost of more than $900 million.
The Origin spokesman said the company will continue to work with the local community and stakeholders to meet the conditions for the Lismore terminal set out in the planning permit.
He said the planning application had been on exhibition for public comment in late 2012 and was supported by a range of studies including geotechnical, noise, flora and fauna, visual and landscape and cultural heritage assessments.
At this week’s council meeting Cr Ruth Gstrein said it was obvious the terminal would have a visual impact.
She urged planting of screening vegetation as soon as practicable.
Cr Gstrein said she backed the recommendation to approve the terminal because it adhered to the council’s planning criteria.
However, Cr Geoff Smith said he did not believe the proposed site was the best location, describing the terminal as “a massive structure” that should have a buffer zone around it.