New Zealand energy company TrustPower is to proceed with construction of its $200 million wind farm on the Hummocks and Barunga Ranges, west of Snowtown; start date is set for April.
TrustPower last Friday reported it had finalised plans for the construction of 42 wind turbines, stage one of a possible 130-turbine project.
Stage one will have an 88 megawatt capacity, enough to power 60,000 South Australian homes. It will use only about one-third of the available wind farm site, leaving the opportunity for further stages in the future.
First mooted publicly in 2003, the Barunga Wind Farm was originally a joint venture with Wind Prospect. In January 2005, TrustPower entered an Option Agreement to purchase Wind Prospects’ portion of the wind farm.
After striving to meet new technical requirements introduced by the Essential Services Commission of South Australia as part of licence conditions in 2005, the wind farm has now been granted an Electricity Generation Licence by ESCOSA.
South Australian electricity transmission company, ElectraNet, has been awarded the contract to connect Barunga Wind Farm to the State’s electricity network. This will involve the construction of a new 132,000 volt substation and a 2.5 kilometre transmission line extending from the wind farm to the existing 132,000 volt Bungama-Hummocks transmission line.
The turbines will be built, operated and maintained under an agreement with Suzlon Energy Australia; they will be progressively commissioned from April and the wind farm is due to be fully commissioned in late 2008.
It is expected the first electricity from the wind farm will be fed into the grid by mid-end March 2008.
TrustPower is a major renewable energy generator and retailer in New Zealand, which owns more than 30 hydro generation stations and supplies electricity to more than 280,000 customers, with a turnover of more than $500m per year.
It owns and operates one of the largest wind farms in the Southern Hemisphere, Tarura Wind Farm in New Zealand, and is also proposing the 20-turbine Myponga Wind Farm on the hills in and around Mount Terrible, Mount Jeffcott and south of Sellicks Hill.
Journalist: Erica Andrews
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