Work has begun in earnest on the $400 million, 175 MWWhite Rock Wind Farm west of Glen Innes in New South Wales, which is set to create 200 jobs during construction and inject $35 million of investment directly into the local region.

The wind farm was initially developed by Epuron, who sold it to Goldwind Australia in 2014.

Deputy Prime Minister and local MP Barnaby Joyce helped turn the first sod on the construction site of the project over the weekend.

Planning approval has been granted by the NSW Government to build 119 turbines on the site, with 70 turbines to be erected during the first stage of construction. Just those 70 turbines will provide enough renewable energy to power about 75,000 average homes every year.

Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall told the Northern Daily Leader newspaper that the groundbreaking ceremony had symbolic importance for the region.

“First with the Moree Solar Farm, and now with White Rock Wind Farm, we are at last using resources freely available to us to generate energy and keep jobs and revenue here, where the benefit is local,” Mr Marshall said.

Clean Energy Council Policy Manager Alicia Webb said the White Rock Wind Farm will bring a positive economic boost to the local area.

“During construction, there will be jobs for locals, as well as extra customers for cafes, hotels, equipment suppliers, contractors and much more,” Ms Webb said. “A wind farm is a major infrastructure project that delivers tangible benefits to the region and, when construction is over, it will generate substantial amounts of clean energy.”

The project is expected to be operational in the second half of 2017. More information is available on the White Rock Wind Farm website: www.whiterockwindfarm.com