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Winds of change worth $135m  

A $135 million wind farm is set to turn the rural setting of Clements Gap into a leader in the fight against climate change.

National renewable energy company Pacific Hydro says the area southwest of Crystal Brook will be home to the landmark project.

This comes after a long journey for both the company and landholders, with approval first granted in 2003.

The project takes on special significance because it is the first wind farm since the new Federal Government increased the renewable energy target.

It is also the company’s first wind farm in South Australia.

The project, consisting of 27 wind generators, 17 kilometres of access tracks, 15 kilometres of power line and a transformer, is expected to generate enough power for at least 25,000 homes.

Company spokeswoman Emily Wood expected the project to reap benefits comparable to a similarly- sized wind farm in Portland, Victoria, which had 85 businesses and about 320 people working on site during construction.

She hoped construction would start in six to eight weeks’ time.

The first stage will involve building roads and foundations for the generators.

The next stage will be putting the generators in place – not an easy task considering each measures 35 metres in length while the piece connecting these to the tower is the size of a mini-bus.

A site manager will be appointed to manage the building work which is expected to take up to two years.

Ms Wood said masts were installed on site to monitor the wind.

As a result, the project became a priority. “It is a fantastic site and we have a great community and a fantastic council that is really supportive,” Ms Wood said.

As well as hospitality, tourism and retail sectors benefiting, smaller community groups will also see spin-offs from the wind farm.

By Belinda Palmer

The Recorder

7 February 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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