Largest wind farm in the Southern

Hemisphere to be built in Australia

The largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere will be built in Australia at Macarthur near Hamilton, 260km west of Melbourne, Victoria. Comprising 140 Vestas V112-3.0 MW wind turbine generators, the 420 MW Macarthur Wind Farm will have the capacity to power more than 220,000 average Victorian homes and abate more than 1.7 million tons of greenhouse gases every year – the equivalent of taking more than 420,000 cars off the road each year.

Power companies AGL and Meridian will each fund 50 percent of the capital construction costs, while AGL will acquire all of the wind farm’s energy output and renewable energy certificates. Recent enhancements to the Australian Government’s 2020 Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme will require around 9,500 MW of new renewable energy generation capacity to be built this decade. The Macarthur Wind Farm is expected to be fully operational in 2013 at a time when it will be needed to meet the legislated demand for Renewable Energy Certificates under the RET scheme.

At the formal launch of the project the Premier of Victoria, John Brumby, said, “This $1 billion project will help cut emissions, create new jobs and provide clean energy for Victorians. Attracting a renewable project of this scale to Victoria is yet another example of how Victoria is leading the way towards a clean energy future.”

The Macarthur site is one of the first to utilize Vestas’ new 3.0 MW V112 turbines which AGL CEO and Managing Director, Michael Fraser says has allowed the project to increase the capacity of the wind farm while reducing the number of towers from 174 to 140.

The V112-3.0 MW turbines are designed for low and medium wind sites and, according to Vestas, deliver high productivity due to their large swept area, higher rotor efficiency and better serviceability and reliability. With a rotor diameter of 112m (367ft), swept area of 9,852m2, cut-in wind speed of 3 m/s and cut-out wind speed of 25m/s, they should be well suited to the Macarthur site that has an average wind speed of 7.6m/s.

The first turbines are expected on site during Q3 2011, with the whole project expected to be completed by the first half of 2013.

It is heartening to note that Australia will be having largest Wind farm. In fact harnessing Wind Energy in Australia has a long history.100000 water pumping windmills were in operation especially in the farms

Wind power in Australia is a proven and reliable technology that can be and is readily deployed. At the close of 2009, there were about 33 wind farms in Australia, most of which have turbines of from 1.5 to 3 megawatts (MW). The total operating wind generating capacity at the end of 2009 was 1877 MW providing 1.3% of Australia’s national electricity demand. South Australia has more than half of the nation’s wind power capacity,whilst Victoria also has a sizeable system, with large proposals for expansion.

The Garnaut Climate Change Review, the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and the Mandatory Renewable energy Target announced by the Australian Government involve a reduction in Australian greenhouse gas emissions. Australia is the highest emitter of greenhouse gases per capita in the developed world and wind power is well placed to grow and deliver greenhouse gas emission cuts on a cost competitive basis. A typical 50-megawatt (MW) wind farm in Australia can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 65,000 and 115,000 tonnes a year.

Australia has excellent wind resources by world standard. The southern coastline lies in the roaring forties and hundreds of sites have average wind speeds above 8 or even 9 m/s at 50 m above ground (the hub height of a modern wind generator). The southwest of Western Australia, southern South Australia, western Victoria, northern Tasmania and elevated areas of New South Wales and Queensland have good wind resources. Several states engaged in systematic wind speed monitoring in the 1980s and 1990s, the results of which are publicly available. Australian wind farms produce on average capacity factors of 30%u201335%, making wind an attractive option. However, the modelling of how wind generating capacity correlates with electricity demand in terms of daily, seasonal and year-to-year patterns of both, has yet to be conducted.

As of April 2008, Australia had installed electricity generation capacity from wind power of approximately 1125 MW and nationally wind farms contributed just over 1% of total electricity production. In the state of South Australia, this figure is about 15%.(Source: Wikipedia).

Australia can exploit wind energy to supplement its energy needs. Also Australia can consider going in for Off shore Wind Farms.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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