MORTLAKE South Wind Farm developer ACCIONA Energy is hopeful construction of the underground transmission line will start later this year, with the permit now before the Minister for Planning.
After the closure of the public notice period for the permit application last Wednesday, ACCIONA Energy is now awaiting approval for the installation of the 200-kilovolt 15 kilometre line connecting the site to the Terang sub-station.
About 4.2 kilometres of the underground transmission line will be within the Moyne Shire and 10.8 kilometres will be within the Corangamite Shire.
The installation will see trenches dug a metre wide and up to 2.5 metres deep and 3.928 hectares of native vegetation removed.
ACCIONA Energy community relations co-ordinator Jane McKinnon said ACCIONA Energy will be working closely with all landowners and neighbouring property owners during the line construction.
“ACCIONA Energy has engaged with all landowners along the proposed route,” she said.
“Since announcing that we will go underground, we have received positive feedback from local landowners, community groups and the councils.
“It is still expected that construction on the underground transmission line will begin later this year.”
Further works at the site are also gaining traction, with an asphalt seal on Tapps Lane and an upgrade to the bridge crossing Stony Creek completed recently, with all public road upgrades now finalised.
Ms McKinnon said the contractors recently ticked off another key milestone for the project, pouring the concrete for the first wind turbine foundation last Wednesday.
“ACCIONA would like to take this opportunity to thank all stakeholders, including the local community, the council and local contractors for their collective support in assisting the project to achieve this very important first step,” she said.
“One foundation pour involves a team of around 15 people working for almost eight hours to pour approximately 100 trucks of concrete.
“We expect the next 34 wind turbine foundations and hardstands to be poured and completed by the end of the year.”
The first round of pre-loaded EFTPOS cards for the Neighbourhood Benefits Program will be distributed to nearby residents over the coming weeks.
The cards can be used to purchase goods and services at participating local businesses in Mortlake, Noorat and Terang.
Ms McKinnon said businesses wishing to participate in the scheme are welcome to apply.
“There are 40 participating businesses in the program so far,” she said.
For more information on the Mortlake South Wind Farm project or to apply for the Neighbourhood Benefits Program, contact the ACCIONA Energy team via 1800 283 550 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Dunlop Street office on Fridays from 9am until 4pm.