Portland has received some much-needed welcome news with the confirmation that wind tower manufacturer Keppel Prince will build 35 wind towers for the Ararat Wind Farm.
Keppel Prince is Australia’s largest wind tower constructor, and has been building towers in the south-west Victorian town since 2000.
The contract to build 35 of 75 towers allows the company to employ up to 40 more people to complete the work. That’s important, as one year ago it was forced to lay off 85 workers after a serious drop in demand for new towers.
Wannon MP, Dan Tehan, was on hand to celebrate the announcement.
The Ararat Wind Farm project got the go-ahead when it became one of three wind farms selected to provide electricity for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) earlier this year.
The ACT renewables policy is one of a few positive state and territory government initiatives to encourage the rollout of renewables after nearly two years of attacks on renewables by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
The decision by developer RES to award some of their tower contract to an Australian company was widely welcomed, as very few wind turbine components are now produced in Australia.
This industry is important to regional Australians for the jobs it brings and the contribution it makes to reducing our impact on polluting, ever-scarcer fossil fuels.
The Australian Wind Alliance encourages all wind developers to buy locally as often as possible.
Image: Annette Deveson (RES), Dan Tehan MP (Member for Wannon), Peter Cowling (GE), Steve Garner (Keppel Prince)