AGL ENERGY is investigating expanding its Hallet wind farm in South Australia as the company aims to have almost half of its power generated from renewables by 2020.
Australia’s largest power retailer today officially opened its $236 million Hallet stage one wind farm 220 km north of Adelaide, the first of four planned for the area.
AGL Energy is building on its renewable power generation ahead of the introduction of a national carbon trading system in 2010 and the federal government’s target of having 20 per cent of the nation’s power generated from renewable sources by 2020.
“We’re looking potentially at a stage five at the Hallet wind farm, so there is potential for that,” AGL Energy managing director Michael Fraser said.
Hallet stage one has 45 wind turbines and will produce about 95 mega watts per year, enough to power about 54,000 homes, with the second stage in construction and the other two under investment consideration.
If all four projects proceed, AGL Energy could be operating over 232 wind turbines and generating a combined capacity of over 460 megawatts by 2011.
AGL Energy said just under a third of the company’s current power generation is generated from renewable sources, with the group aiming to increase that capacity to about 45 per cent by 2020.
“I would expect, if we think out to 2020 where the government targets are, then probably we’re going to end up somewhere in the order of 3,000 to 4,000 megawatts of renewable generation,” Mr Fraser said.
“It would probably be up in the 40 per cent plus range, 40 to 45 per cent of (total) generation capacity.”
AGL Energy said wind was the dominant technology in the renewable energy space, but the company was also looking at other options, including geothermal, wave technology and solar.
The company provides gas and electricity to more than six million Australian customers.
13 June 2008
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