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$1.3 billion wind farm proposal for Ardrossan  

Credit:  By Brett Williamson, ABC North and West SA, www.abc.net.au 31 August 2011 ~~

Premier Mike Rann has announced plans for Suzlon Energy Australia to build a 180 turbine wind energy plant on Yorke Peninsula.

The 600 megawatt renewable energy project would be able to generate enough electricity to power more than 200,000 homes.

The plant would add to South Australia’s 534 already operational turbines that generate 1,150 megawatts currently.

Mr Rann said the state is currently leading our country in wind power production.

“We already have 54 per cent of Australia’s total wind power generating capacity; five times per capita more than Victoria and ten times more than New South Wales,” Mr Rann said in a press release issued on the Ceres Project development.

Plans were being submitted for the plants to be constructed 20 kilometres southwest of the city, with electricity to be fed into the Adelaide metropolitan grid via a connection that would cross upper Gulf St Vincent.

Mayor of Yorke Peninsula, Ray Agnew, said the project was being driven by local developers and farmers within the local area.

He told 891 Breakfast that the new proposal included a pre-approved area to the north of Port Vincent.

Suzlon Energy Australia’s chief operating officer Chris Judd said the project had been proposed for a 2015 completion.

“There’s a number of years worth of studies and community consultation and planning that will go into the project before it goes into the project before it gets to the point of construction,” Mr Rudd said.

Mr Rudd said that the company had been very careful to ensure the plant construction and operation would not affect any delicate local fauna and flora populations, with measures taken to ensure the underwater cable would not run through any marine park sanctuary areas.

“We should make it clear that this cable is actually something that is about ten centimetres in diameter,” he said.

Wind farm worries

With the state of Victoria recently imposing distance restrictions on the construction of turbines, Dr Sarah Laurie, medical director of the Waubra Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that investigates the possible health effects from wind farms, is recommending the farms be set up no closer than ten kilometres from the closest dwellings.

“On the basis of our field observation, because people are getting symptoms up to ten kilometres away from the large three megawatt turbines, we’re saying if you want to build turbines … do it further than ten kilometres away.”

Dr Laurie said their research had shown that residents within ten kilometres of the plants were suffering from disturbed sleep and other serious health problems, with some families across leaving their homes.

She said five households in the Waterloo area had relocated from their homes since the development of the wind farms in the area.

Source:  By Brett Williamson, ABC North and West SA, www.abc.net.au 31 August 2011

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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