THE Tableland is poised to become a green energy hub.
Transfield Services, which owns Windy Hill wind farm near Ravenshoe in Queensland, plans to build another two farms, creating more than 110 jobs initially and increasing its capacity to power more than 90,000 homes, Cairns Post reports.
A $200 million High Road project, 10km north of Windy Hill, is set to go before the Tablelands Regional Council within weeks, and the Ariga project, west of Mareeba, has 12-18 months left on the drawing board.
Transfield project development manager Terry Johannesen told The Cairns Post the High Road project would consist of 37 turbines and would be built, if approved, on farm land near Tumoulin Rd.
Four farms have entered into a land agreement with Transfield.
"During the construction phase there will be jobs for more than 100 people," he said.
"A lot of that work can be sourced locally."
Once the site is completed, it will have the capacity to power 30,000 homes, dwarfing Windy Hill’s capacity of 3600 homes.
The third project, at Ariga, will be the company’s largest project on the Tableland.
Mr Johannesen said once it was completed, it would be able to power more than 55,000 homes, almost double the size of the High Road development.
He said the Tableland was a prime area to establish wind farms for a number of reasons.
"Most importantly, it is windy," he said.
"And people in the region are keen on renewable energy and there is plenty of available land that is not close to high density residential areas."
Tolga Wind Farm, a separate company from Transfield, is also proposing to capitalise on the region’s wind.
Wind trials, which to date have been extremely successful, are currently being undertaken on Tate Rd, near the Big Peanut, north of Atherton.
The $100 million investment could see 20 turbines constructed.
Transfield is holding an information session on the High Road development at Evelyn Hall on February 25 from 2pm-7pm.
The informal session has been planned to give residents a one-on-one opportunity discuss the proposal.