Huge wind turbine producer takes over Southern Downs farm
ONE of the country's largest producers of wind turbines has taken control of the proposed Rabbit Ridge Wind Farm project.
Goldwind Australia has taken the reins on the Dalveen-based project, which first became a realisation under Tim Lucas' stewardship.
Mr Lucas first brought his vision to the community's attention back in 2013 and it's been a hard slog since.
"Goldwind have acquired the project. They're the same guys doing the project (White Rock) down in Glen Innes," Mr Lucas said.
"They've got the biggest in Australia, Stockyard Hill down in Ballarat about to start, so they've sort of acquired the project off me.
"I'm still the landholder, landlord if you will," he said.
The final outcome is some way off being realised, but it's progressed significantly since Mr Lucas first touted the idea several years ago.
The process began more than five years ago when Mr Lucas put his proposal before the previous Southern Downs Regional Council.
The plan was refused under the weight of 50-plus objections from landowners and neighbours but, during the lengthy appeals process, these objections lost momentum and due to various issues fell away from the case.
He said the original idea came about when Ergon proposed to build a new power line from Stanthorpe to Warwick.
"A lot of people were opposed to that idea and I spoke up and said I could offer a cheaper, green alternative," he said.
In the face off frustration from nearby residents of the build site, Mr Lucas spoke about its potential and said there were numerous benefits for the region, including tourism and financial benefits.
"The annual energy production of the wind farm will be the same as the annual power demand for Stanthorpe," he told the Border Post in December 2016.
"The cost of the power generated will only be a fraction of the cost of what we pay for retail power."
Back in 2016 he also indicated the project could be complete by the end of 2017, but with Goldwind since acquiring the project, no end date has been provided.
The Border Post repeatedly attempted to contact the new project manager but was unable to get comment.