Wind power in South Australia


Wind power in South Australia

Wind power in South Australia is a growing industry with 648 megawatts (MW) of operational wind farm capacity and a further 170 MW under construction. [ [http://www.geocities.com/daveclarkecb/Australia/WindSA.html Wind power and wind farms in SA] ] South Australia is well suited to wind farms and more wind power is generated in South Australia than any other Australian state or territory. Approximately 15 per cent of South Australia's electricity comes from wind farms.The Natural Edge Project (2007). [http://www.naturaledgeproject.net/Documents/ESSP/SESP/TNEP_Energy_Solutions_Lecture_3.4.pdfHidden Benefits of Distributed Generation to Supply Base Electricity Demand] ]

Wind farms do not emit greenhouse gases in the generation of electricity, and so wind power is considered a highly desirable form of renewable energy which assists in the reduction of the State’s reliance on coal and gas fired electricity generation.Mount Millar Wind Farm (2006). [http://www.mtmillar.com.au/ Welcome to Mount Millar Wind Farm] ]

Technical considerations

Wind energy conversion systems (wind turbines) are designed to convertthe energy of wind movement (kinetic energy) into mechanical energy (the movement of a machine). This mechanical energy is then converted into electricity.Australian Institute of Energy (2004). [http://www.aie.org.au/national/factsheet/FS7_WIND%20ENERGY.pdf Fact Sheet 7: Wind Energy] ]

There are three principles governing the amount of energy available from the wind: (1) the power generated by the turbine is proportional to the wind speed cubed; (2) the power available is directly proportional to the swept area of the blades and (3) the maximum theoretical efficiency of wind generators is 59%.

The load factor (or capacity factor) for South Australian wind farms is usually in the range 32-38%. This means that a wind farm could typically produce between 32 and 38% of its rated power capacity.

History

In 2003 the only large wind turbine in South Australia was a 0.15 MW unit at Coober Pedy. By early 2004 there was 34 MW of installed wind power and in September 2006 there was 388 MW. [http://www.geocities.com/daveclarkecb/Australia/WindPower.html Wind power and wind farms in South Australia] ]

At present (August 2007) there is 388 MW of operational wind farm capacity in South Australia (Canunda, Cathedral rocks, Lake Bonney Stage 1, Mount Millar, Starfish Hill, and Wattle Point), and a further 341 MW (Hallett, Lake Bonney Stage 2 and Snowtown) is under construction.

Lake Bonney Wind Farm (239 MW)

Lake Bonney Wind Farm, in South Australia, was built in two stages. Stage 1 consisted of 46 turbines each having a rated capacity of 1.75 MW (total 80.5 MW) and was finished in March 2005. Construction of Stage 2 began in November 2006 and was finished around April 2008. Stage 2 consisted of 53 turbines of 3 MW (total 159 MW). The combined capacity of the two stages is 239.5 MW making it the biggest wind farm in Australia at the time of completion. [ [http://www.geocities.com/daveclarkecb/Australia/WindSA.html Wind power and wind farms in South Australia: Wind in the Bush ] ]

Wattle Point Wind Farm (91 MW)

Wattle Point Wind Farm is near Edithburgh on the coast of South Australia. When it was officially opened in June 2005 it was Australia's largest wind farm at 91 MW. The installation consists of 55 wind turbines and was built at a cost of 165 million Australian dollars. In April 2007, Alinta sold Wattle Point Wind Farm to a wholly-owned subsidiary of the ANZ, Energy Infrastructure Trust, for 225 million Australian dollars.

The District Council of Yorke Peninsula approved a second wind farm near Wattle Point, but the development has not proceeded due to insufficient capacity in the main power transmission line.

Mount Millar Wind Farm (70 MW)

Mount Millar Wind Farm (previously called Yabmana) is situated on an escarpment between the towns of Cowell and Cleve located 100 kilometres southwest of Whyalla. The 35 wind turbines are positioned on the elongated Mount Millar site (about 7 kilometres in length) to maximise wind exposure. The wind farm can generate up to 70 megawatts of electricity and will provide enough energy to meet the needs of about 36,000 typical households.

The Mount Millar Wind Farm is different to other SA wind farms in that the turbines do not have gear boxes and this is why the nacelle of these turbines has a larger diameter than most.The wind farm connects to ElectraNet’s existing transmission network at Yadnarie Substation, via a new 33km 132kV overhead transmission line and substation.

Construction of this wind farm started in late 2004 and was completed in December 2005. Power production started in February 2006.The $130 million project was developed by Tarong Energy Corporation Ltd.

Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm (66 MW)

Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm is in a remote coastal area located near the southern tip of the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, about 30km south west of Port Lincoln. The site covers an area of about 29km², with a coastal exposure of nearly 11km and is private farming land.Hydro Tasmania (c2005). [http://www.hydro.com.au/Documents/Renewables%20Development/Cathedral%20Rocks%20fact%20sheet.pdf Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm] ] Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm has 33 wind turbines, with a combined generating capacity of 66 MW of electricity. The wind farm was commissioned in September 2005.

Before the wind farm was built, extensive environmental and cultural studies were conducted. Surveys undertaken included the assessment of potential impacts to Aboriginal and European cultural heritage, flora, visual amenity, noise levels, birds and other animals. Construction of the wind farm was undertaken with consideration for the environment.

Canunda Wind Farm (48 MW)

Canunda Wind Farm (formerly named Lake Bonney Central Wind Farm) is a $92.5 million, 48 MW wind power project located on grazing land approximately 16 kilometres south of Millicent.Wind Prospect (undated). [http://www.windprospect.com.au/sites/canunda.html Wind: Clean, Safe, Australia's Future] ] The wind farm is made up of 23 Vestas 2.0 MW wind turbines, together with an underground electrical cable network, access tracks, crane hardstandings, wind monitoring masts and a 33kV double-circuit distribution line. Each turbine consists of a 67 metre high tower and 40 metre long blades, and so are 107 metres in height to the tip of the blade. These wind turbines rotate at speeds between 9 rpm and 19 rpm, depending on the wind speed. The Canunda Wind Farm was opened by the Premier of South Australia, Mike Rann, on the 31st of March 2005.

The Canunda Wind Farm provides a number of benefits to the local and wider community, including clean electricity generation, enhanced agricultural viability of the farms involved and increased diversity of electricity supply for South Australia and the south east in particular. There has also been widespread community interest in the project and site tours have commenced.

tarfish Hill Wind Farm (34.5 MW)

Starfish Hill Wind Farm is near Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula. It comprises 23 turbines of 1.5 MW each, with 8 turbines on Starfish Hill and 15 on the nearby Salt Creek Hill, with a combined generating capacity of 34.5 MW of electricity. Starfish Hill Wind Farm was commissioned in September 2003.Starfish Hill (2004). [http://www.starfishhill.com.au/ Starfish Hill Wind Farm] ]

Starfish Hill Wind Farm provides enough energy to meet the needs of about 18,000 households, representing 2% of South Australia’s residential customers, and adds about 1% to the available generation capacity in South Australia. The Project was developed by Starfish Hill Wind Farm Pty Ltd, recently sold by Tarong Energy.

Future prospects

A further 95 MW of generating capacity is under construction at the Hallett Wind Farm, which is adjacent to an existing 180 MW gas fired peaking power plant. Construction of the planned $236 million wind farm is expected to be completed in December 2007.

Construction of another 88 MW (Snowtown Wind Farm) began in April 2007, with wind turbines to be progressively commissioned between April and November 2008. Final output is expected to be 350 GWh (gigawatt hours) of electricity each year, saving more than 345,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually. [Trustpower (2007). [http://www.trustpower.co.nz/Content/documents/SnowtownMediaRelease_200701.pdf Major new windfarm announced in South Australia] ]

AGL Energy is also evaluating development of the Bluff Wind Farm comprising about 45 MW and located adjacent to Hallett Power Station.AGL (2007). [http://www.agl.com.au/AGLNew/About+AGL/Generation+assets/Projects+under+development/Wind.htm Wind developments] ]

South Australia will have 15 per cent of its electricity coming from wind farms by the end of 2007 and the systems operators believe that up to 20 per cent can be easily accommodated. In Australia, the entire eastern seaboard electricity grid is linked from Far North Queensland to South Australia. This can act like a battery to manage excess wind power production from one part of Australia in order to address a lack of energy production due to lack of wind in another part of Australia. The electricity grid can accommodate significant amounts of variable supply of electricity and therefore can effectively smooth the individual variability from specific wind farm sites.. The wind generation in South Australia also helps reduce the need to transmit power from the large-scale coal generators in the Hunter and La Trobe Valleys, which reduces transmission losses.

ee also

*List of wind farms in South Australia
*List of active power stations in South Australia
*List of Australian renewable energy topics
*List of large wind farms
*List of wind farms in Australia
*Renewable energy commercialization in Australia
*Wind power in Australia

References

External links

* [http://www.auswea.com.au/auswea/projects/sa.asp Wind power in South Australia]
* [http://www.geocities.com/daveclarkecb/Australia/WindSA.html Wind power and wind farms in South Australia: Wind in the Bush]
* [http://abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/11/14/2091047.htm?section=australia SA to meet renewable energy target early: Rann]


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