The report, by Adelaide-based economic and industry development consultancy Hudson Howells, says that during this period, including the construction phase, the wind farm would sustain a minimum of 340 regional jobs per year.
Once operational, the wind farm would then generate $7 million of value added economic activity annually and support directly or indirectly a total of 60 jobs per year based on “a low case scenario”.
The conservative scenario assumes a lower proportion of construction and operating inputs being supplied locally - that is, by the Adelaide Hills region and the State - and that the towers are imported from interstate or overseas.
Hudson Howells adds that if local suppliers, including those in the Adelaide Hills and Mid-Murray regions, were able to capture a larger proportion of the construction and operating work, and if some of the towers were sourced within South Australia, the economic benefits both to the region and the State as a whole would be increased.
For South Australia as a whole the economic benefits generated by the Palmer Wind Farm would be considerably more substantial.
“Modelling for the conservative scenario indicates that the project will generate $422 million of value added (contribution to Gross State Product) in the State over the period of construction and that this would happen over three years,” Hudson Howell reports, with an average of more than 1200 jobs sustained over the first three years.
“Once operational the project is estimated to support annually $20 million of value added activity and support directly and indirectly of the order of 180 jobs per year.”
Trustpower Development Manager Rodney Ahern said that, as had been the case with the Snowtown wind farm, also operated by Trustpower, the intention was to maximize local and State input wherever possible.
“We would expect to do considerably better than the conservative scenario outlined in the Hudson Howells report,” he said. “It is clearly evident that the more of the activity that can be retained in the region, while acknowledging the specialist nature of the construction itself, the more significant the degree of economic activity in the region will be.”
Brenton Lewis, CEO of Regional Development Australia – Murraylands, said he supported the conservative scenario presented by Hudson Howells, adding: “ Clearly the Mid Murray Council area and adjoining councils, including the Rural City of Murray Bridge, would be advantaged through the construction phase in particular.
“There is capacity within our region to provide specialist and engineering services. We have two clusters of manufacturing businesses ideally placed to provide inputs and the RDA would emphasise local supply as a preferred method of resourcing.
“We appreciate revenue will be gained by landholders is additional to their current revenue and this, too, is valued as it most likely will provide a sustainable stream of non-agricultural revenue.”