A decision on whether the Albany Windfarm is extended could be made within months.
The final stage of a feasibility study into the proposal by Verve Energy to add six new turbines was advanced last week with information sessions held on Friday and Saturday at Albany Plaza and Sunday at Elleker Hall.
Whether the Grasmere wind farm project proceeds will then be determined by the eventual financial cost.
Verve Energy windfarm project manager Daniel Thompson said the project’s feasibility had been improved by technology changes.
“The number of turbines have been reduced from seven to six since the feasibility study started in 2005,” he said.
“The new turbines are more efficient.”
The wind farm’s original turbines produced 1.8Mw of power, with new turbines 2.3Mw.
Mr Thompson said the aim was for the combined wind farm was to produce 80 per cent of Albany’s demand because of the region’s growth.
The wind farm is now only providing 50 per cent, a big drop from the 75 per cent it provided when the turbines commenced operating in 2001.
Mr Thompson said Albany had the potential of being mostly supplied by renewable energy if other projects started, including wave energy.
The Albany community’s penchant for criticising anything new was rejected by McKail resident Bill Maxwell.
He said everyone talked about the need for renewable energy replacing coal-powered generators, but nobody wanted them in their back yard.
“This wind farm has been great from the start,” he said.
“I think it’s a good idea.”
8 May 2008
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