Hydro Tasmania wins first battle against anti-wind farm lobbyists

Hydro Tasmania has scored an early win in the battle to develop its $2 billion, 200 turbine wind farm on King Island, with the Federal Court in Hobart rejecting a costs bid by the project’s main opponent, No TasWind Farm Group.

The lobbyists argue the turbines would be visible from every part of the remote King Island and the island’s potential as a global tourism destination will be damaged by Hydro Tasmania’s development. The group also argues Hydro Tasmania’s attempt at community engagement failed, with a significant portion of locals reportedly opposed to the project.

No TasWind Farm Group applied for the costs created by fighting the project, to be covered by the wind farm’s developer, Hydro Tasmania.

However, Justice Duncan Kerr found in favour of Hydro Tasmania, rejecting a claim for compensation and damages by the protest group.

The verdict, which was handed down on February 5, was the first battle in the conflict, with No TasWind Farm Group lodging a formal written order in the Federal Court last September.

TasWind is a concept to develop a turbine wind farm on King Island and a high-voltage underwater cable across Bass Strait to connect to the national electricity market. If completed, the wind farm would be the largest wind project in the southern hemisphere and would pump an estimated $7 million a year into the local economy.