Wind farms could inject $2 million a year into regional NSW
More than $2 million in cash will be pumped back into regional communities each year if the wind farms already approved for New South Wales go ahead.
Data shows the 10 wind farms already operating in NSW inject $650,000 each year back into local communities. This amount could jump by a further $1.5million annually if the 11 already approved wind farms are built .
These figures do not include payments made directly to those who neighbour wind farms or the farmers who host them.
The analysis also points to a jobs bonanza for regional and rural NSW with the approved projects expected to create more than 1000 direct construction jobs, and 102 long-term jobs. This is on top of the 1135 jobs already created in NSW thanks to wind farm construction.
Australian Wind Alliance national coordinator Andrew Bray said such a large injection of jobs, investment and community funding could make a world of difference to a small town.
“A single wind farm project can regenerate an entire region by creating new jobs, providing a second source of income for farmers and setting up a community fund that residents can choose to spend on whatever their community needs most – whether it’s an annual event, a sports team, school or health services,” Mr Braysaid.
White Rock, Sapphire and Glen Innes wind farms in northern NSW invest $435,000 each year into community funds for Inverell and Glen Innes.
Mr Bray said if wind farms located in the same region started coordinating funds in consultation with local councils, then contributions could be spent even more efficiently for communities.
A Climate Council report launched today found that NSW is the worst state for investment in renewable energy nationwide. Game On: Australia’s Renewable Energy Race Heats Up grades the states on their renewable energy policy settings and performance.
It found NSW and Victoria were the only states that haven’t increased policy support for renewable energy.
 Data available for eight of the 10 wind farms with two recorded as zero. Breakdown available upon request.