Siemens’ giant wind farm lands in Australia

A 270MW farm, expected to be complete in 2014 is being carefully moved from Adelaide to Snowtown

Each part will be transported one piece at a time, each with police escort. (Source: Siemens)

By Nilima Choudhury

Giant wind turbine blades have started to arrive in Adelaide in preparation for the construction of South Australia’s largest wind farm.

The $700 million 90-turbine project is beig run by Siemens, and is expected to generate 270MW and power up to 170,000 homes.

Despite dropping out of the solar industry, Siemens is ramping up its wind product manufacturing having recently supplied equipment to the world’s largest wind power array in London.

“Australia is an important market for us,” Siemens’ Bernd Eilitz told RTCC. “South Australia is continuing to lead the way in the generation of renewable energy, with South Australia exceeding the 20% renewable energy target and increasing their own renewable energy target to 33%.

More than 660 pieces of equipment for the turbines have arrived this week from China and Denmark to travel a further 170km until they reach their destination of Snowtown.

Because of the size of the parts, they have to be moved one piece at a time, each with police escort. If you laid out the rotor blades alone end to end they would run for 13km.

This equipment for this second phase will be placed adjacent to the existing turbines on the Barunga Ranges in the north and in a new development area along the Hummocks Range to the south.

Due to the success of the first phase which has been in operation since 2008 and consists of 47 Suzlon S88 2.1MW turbines, New Zealand energy company and owner of the farm Trust Power commissioned the second phase.

Stage 2 development will consist of an additional 90 Siemens 3MW direct-drive turbines. It is expected to produce 989GWh per annum, and be completed by December 2014.

This amount of renewable generation will also offset 700,000 tonnes of CO2 produced by coal fired electricity generation.

TrustPower has also been reported to be paying 24 farmers A$2.4 million in total annually for the next 25 years.

Origin Energy has signed a power purchase agreement to buy all the energy generated by the new development over 15 years. It is already purchasing 89% of the power generated by the existing wind farm.

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