Dispatch from South Australia: Snowtown II wind farm nears completion

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South Australian Yes 2 Renewables contributor Dave Clarke has been tracking his state’s progress on renewable energy for years. Clarke has visited the Snowtown II wind farm which is now under construction and has pointed out milestones in renewable energy.

Here’s Dave with another quick dispatch from the frontline of the renewable energy transition…

Snowtown II Wind Farm is close to completion. My wife and I could see just nine unfinished turbines among the 90 (from 40km away when on our morning walk yesterday).When operating, Snowtown 2 will increase Australia’s installed wind power by 8.4 per cent and South Australia’s by 22 per cent. It will increase the total installed wind power in Mid North SA by 44 per cent from 619MW to 889MW. South Australia has much more wind power than any other Australian state, and near half of Australia’s total wind power. Mid North SA has the greatest concentration of wind power in Australia, yet there is still plenty of room for more!

I know of no opposition to the Snowtown wind farms. The Mayor of the regional council said the same thing at the sod turning ceremony. The 90, 3MW turbines of Snowtown 2 will generate an average of around 101MW. A square metre of solar PV panels generates an average or around 33W. So the wind farm will generate as much power as around 3 million square metres of solar panels; ie. 3 square kilometres. (For those who would like to check this, a 250W PV panel has an area of about 1.28 sq.m and a capacity factor of about 17 per cent. A wind turbine has a capacity factor of about 35 per cent.)

An official opening for the wind farm is scheduled for 2 November, 2014, but it will be fully operational well before that.

The progress of Snowtown II is another example of the Renewable Energy Target’s effectiveness. Yet it is this policy that is under threat from a review headed by former Caltex chairman, Dick Warburton.

The Warburton Review of the Renewable Energy Target has stalled wind farm projects around Australia. At our RET Road Trip to Ararat last week, we visited the site of RES Australia’s Ararat wind farm. The $450 million project will result in $22 million expenditure in the local economy, deliver drought-proof income for famers, and contribute $75,000 in grants to the community each year.

Weakening the Renewable Energy Target will cost jobs and investment. With need to act on climate change growing stronger each day, such an outcome represents a backward step.

Mayors Hooper and Erwin in Ararat
Local mayors join Yes 2 Renewables supporters to discuss the importance of the Renewable Energy Target and wind farms.

TAKE ACTION:

  • If you support more renewable energy for Australia, sign our petition calling on PM Tony Abbott to protect the RET.
  • Support the Protect the RET petition in your community. A printable version is available here so you can get family, friends, colleagues and community members to sign on. 
  • Volunteer with Yes 2 Renewables and support our RET Review Road Trip. Contact us here to express interest.

 

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