Wattle Point Wind Farm, South Australia

Wattle Point Wind Farm, South Australia

Wattle Point Wind Farm is a wind farm near Edithburgh on the coast of South Australia, which has been operating since April 2005. When it was officially opened in June of that year it was Australia's largest wind farm at 91 megawatts. The installation consists of 55 wind turbines covering convert|17.5|km2|sqmi|1and was built at a cost of 180 million Australian dollars. [cite web | url=http://www.yorke.sa.gov.au/tourism/Wattlepoint.htm | title=Wattle Point Wind Farm | accessdate=2007-11-13 | publisher=District council of Yorke Peninsula] It is connected to ETSA Utilities electricity transmission system via a 132 kilovolt line. [cite web | url= http://www.etsautilities.com.au/media_release.jsp?xcid=591 | publisher = ETSA Utilities | accessdate=2007-11-13 | date = 2004-09-07 | title=Work underway on connection to Australia's largest wind farm]

The location was chosen after identification as having one of mainland Australia's highest average wind speeds. The wind farm was officially opened by South Australian Premier Mike Rann and Southern Hydro Chairman, Dr Keith Turner. [cite journal | url=http://www.pesa.com.au/publications/pesa_news/aug_05/pesanews_7707.html | journal= The national newsletter of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia |year= 2005|month= August/September |title= Australia’s Largest Wind Farm Opened In SA|issue= Issue 77|accessdate= 2007-11-13 ] The opening was opposed by some of the local Indigenous Australians, the Adjahdura (or Narungga). A descendant of the traditional landowners argued that construction desecrated an ancient burial ground, disturbing skeletons in the construction of turbine number four. [cite news | url = http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2005/06/16/1393546.htm | publisher = ABC News (Australia) | date = 2005-06-21 | accessdate=2007-11-13 | title=Traditional owners condemn wind farm opening] Work was halted in late 2004 after the discovery of human remains, artefacts and tools. The Aboriginal Affairs Department, and the developers, separately commissioned archaeological reports resulting in the development allowed to proceed with five towers being repositioned. Both reports concluded that the bones had come from elsewhere on the peninsula, being later reburied at Wattle Point. The region's aboriginal community was divided on construction; Narungga National Aboriginal Corporation supporting development and the Narungga Heritage Committee strongly opposing. [cite news | last=Bockmann | first = Michelle Wiese | publisher= The Australia | date = 2005-01-27 | title=Wind farm built on black heritage site | pages=p.2]

Wattle Point Wind Farm was built and owned by Southern Hydro Pty Limited. Southern Hydro was owned by Meridian Energy of New Zealand until October 2005, when it was bought by the Australian Gas Light Company (AGL). [cite web |url = http://www.freehills.com.au/publications/publications_5663.asp#AGL_to_build_Australias_largest_windfarm |title=AGL to build Australia’s largest wind farm |accessdate=2006-04-26 |date=2006-03-14 |work=Renewable Energy & Greenhouse Update February 2006 |publisher=Freehills] The windfarm was acquired by Alinta in October 2006, as part of an asset merger with AGL, and subsequently by the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group's Energy Infrastructure Trust, for 225 million dollars on April 23 2007. [cite web | url = http://www.anz.com/australia/support/library/mr/mr20070423a.pdf | title = (pdf)Purchase of Wattle Point Wind Farm Pty Ltd | publisher = Australia and New Zealand Banking Group | date = 2007-04-23 | accessdate = 2007-11-13]

An extension, Wattle Point Stage 2, was proposed, but not built because of insufficient capacity in the electrical transmission lines [pers. com. Acting Director Development and Community Services, Yorke Pen. Council] .

ee also

*Wind power in South Australia


External links

* [http://www.geocities.com/daveclarkecb/Australia/WindSA.html Wind power and wind farms in South Australia]
* [http://www.geocities.com/daveclarkecb/Australia/WindWP.html Photographs of Wattle Point wind farm]

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