Independent study: Hallett wind farms boost regional economy and job creation

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The regional economy in South Australia is better off as a result of AGL’s Hallett group of wind farms, according to an independent study released by AGL. The comprehensive study, prepared by consultants Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM), has investigated the economic impacts that AGL’s Hallett wind farm projects have had on the mid-north region of South Australia, encompassing the Regional Council of Goyder, Northern Areas Council and Clare and Gilbert Valley Council areas.

AGL General Manager, Power Development, Ken Woolley said: “This study has provided a real insight into the economic benefits these projects have provided, particularly in terms of boosting local businesses and creating employment.

“For every job created directly by the wind farms, at least three further jobs are created indirectly.  This is great news for locals in a difficult economic climate.

“It is also very rewarding to know that AGL’s contribution to the community goes beyond the supply of clean renewable energy that will ultimately mean a better environment for us all,” he said.

Commenting on the release of the report, South Australian Premier Mike Rann said: “We’re getting close to 1,000MW and nearly $2 billion worth of investment in wind power in South Australia – way ahead of anywhere else in Australia, and AGL has played a very positive role in this.

“This is not only good for the environment, and for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but it’s also a big boost for our regions and for jobs,” Mr Rann said.
Key findings of the report include:

  • $800 million has been spent on the Hallett projects to date
  • This includes $88 million which has been spent directly in the region developing and constructing the wind farms
  • Regional expenditure due to construction and operations activities will total $41.1 million this calendar year, adding some 3.8% to the Gross Regional Product
  • Regional expenditure due to operational activities is expected to total $15 million per year for the operational life of the wind farms, adding some 1.4% to the Gross Regional product
  • An average of 98 construction workers have been directly employed on the project sites at any one time from late 2005 to June 2010
  • 15 locals have been directly employed to date to operate and maintain the wind farms, but this is expected to increase to 42 on completion of all stages
  • Over $110,000 has been allocated to date into regional Community Funds to support local clubs, associations and events.

“It is also great to see that the wind farms are creating opportunities which contribute to arresting population decline, which has been happening in some of these Council regions,” said Mr Woolley.

The Hallett 1 (94.5 MW) and Hallett 2 (71.4 MW) wind farms are in operation, Hallett 4 (132 MW) and Hallett 5 (52.5 MW) are under construction, and Hallett 3 (69 MW) is in development.

Further information for the community about AGL’s Hallett wind farms is available at the AGL Information Centre in Burra.

A copy of the full report can be downloaded from AGL’s website.

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