Mount Emerald Wind Farm
The 2,400 hectare site for Mount Emerald Wind Farm was chosen as it has excellent wind conditions, is close to the existing electricity network and has relatively few homes nearby.
Following detailed environmental studies, development approval for Mount Emerald Wind Farm was granted in 2015.
Although the approval allows up to 63 turbines to be built, only 53 have been installed. This enabled turbines to be located away from quoll habitats and for some to be removed from prominent ridgelines to minimise visual and cultural heritage effects while still allowing the wind farm to generate a significant quantity of much-needed renewable electricity.
The project also includes:
- 35km of new site roads – needed to bring the turbines onto site from Cairns, for maintenance access during their working lives, as well as when the turbines are decommissioned
- New substation to connect the power generated by the turbines to the local National Electricity Market
- Control room for operations and maintenance staff
Environmental Approval Documents
Before approval for the project could be granted, detailed studies were conducted into the wind farm’s effects on the local environment. These were carried out by technical experts and specialists in a range of disciplines.
Reports from these studies formed the Environmental Impact Statement which accompanied the development application for the project and can be viewed or downloaded below.
Development Application Approval Documents
Development Approval conditions have been developed by the Queensland and Commonwealth governments after review of the EIS submitted in 2015.
Ongoing environmental monitoring, during and after construction, will ensure compliance to approval conditions and the commitments made by RATCH Australia to protect the area and its environmental and social values. To complement these measures, a large offset block has been purchased by RATCH Australia Corporation immediately adjacent to the site and permanently protected as part of the Approval process.
The Offset Block is chosen to protect an area much larger than the area likely to be disturbed during construction of the wind farm. It is chosen according to defined criteria, including that it has similar vegetation and habitat to the area to be impacted by construction of the turbine pads and access roads; and can provide an alternative habitat for fauna during and after construction. The area will be protected into the future to maintain its integrity as an undisturbed area of similar land to the wind farm site.
Other DA documentation, available for download:
Local procurement has commenced, with: • Koppens and Mareeba Crane Hire constructing the concrete culvert to protect the irrigation channel during December 2016. • A new vehicle purchased from Mareeba Toyota, January 2017 • Contracting of the MBarBarrum Aboriginal Corporation to undertake Cultural Heritage surveys and assist with environmental surveys during the entire construction period.…
Project and Compliance Updates
Early works commenced February 14th on the transport depot laydown area at the base of the site. All pre-start UXO, Cultural Heritage and Environmental surveys have been conducted to verify the site is ‘ready to go’. Flagging of works area has occurred to limit the extent of clearing, in preparation for pad establishment. Letters of…