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- Legacy investment into telecommunications infrastructure to support communities around the southern hemisphere’s biggest wind farm.
ACCIONA Energía will be replacing temporary telecommunications infrastructure installed for the construction of the wind farm with a permanent 4G Telstra tower that will also be available for use by the community.
“We know cellular reception is a major issue for farmers and residents in the area,” said Dan Belton, ACCIONA Energía’s Director of Construction and Engineering.
“While we have temporary solutions in place during MacIntyre’s construction, we need something permanent for when the project goes into operations. When we looked at the options to connect the turbines by other means, we settled on the idea that an additional investment from us could extend this benefit to the wider community.”
“From our end, the investment was an additional $500,000 to make the tower accessible to everyone in the area. We felt this was an important contribution back to into the local community who have been so incredibly supportive of the project.”
ACCIONA Energía will spend $2.5 million for Telstra and Amplitel to build and install the new tower and are targeting to have it operating by mid 2024.
The 4G tower will assist with local connectivity and be particularly useful during severe weather, making it easier for emergency services to reach and notify people.
“Often the success of major infrastructure projects is the legacy left to the community long after the project is completed. This announcement embodies a project where the long-term benefit to the people in the surrounding area will continue to benefit future generations,” said Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Vic Pennisi.
“I congratulate ACCIONA Energía on this initiative and look forward to working with them to identify other valuable legacy projects that will have a positive and lasting impact on our communities”.
It’s expected that the new mobile tower will also give residents better digital connectivity and phone reception and help residents address the ‘digital divide’ faced by rural communities.
“It is well known that regional communities experience a disproportionate burden connecting to the digital economy. In addition to emergency services we hope that residents now more easily able to get online will have additional economic opportunities available to them,” said Mr Belton.