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Contact: email daveclarkecb@yahoo.com

Wind in the Bush, SA, Contents

Main sections: Introduction | Installed wind power in SA | Wind farm generation data | Capacities of conventional power stations | Growth of the SA wind industry | South Australian wind farms | SA wind farms by region | Wind farms by location | Visiting SA wind-farms | Power interconnectors | Index | (Off this page: Locations on Google Maps)

Graphs

Operating SA wind farms | Wind farm generation, by wind farm | Wind energy contribution to SA power | Emissions from generation | Wind energy vs greenhouse intensity | Electricity imports decreasing due to wind power | Generation duration curve for SA wind power | Emissions from generation | Wind generation in SA by region | Wind output at high demand periods | Generation and consumption on 2014/06/27

Tables

Installed capacities of SA wind farms | Capacities of conventional power stations | SA wind farms by region | Colour coding for wind farm status | Other proposed wind farms | Power interconnectors |

Maps

Allendale | Crystal Brook | Eyre Peninsula wind project | Hallett wind farms | Robertstown | Stony Gap | Wattle Point

Using this page: some hints

This and most other pages of 'Wind in the Bush' are set out like reference books. There is a contents list at the top of each page and at least one index at the bottom of the page. Use these to find the subject you want, or use CTRL F to find words or phrases that interest you. You can also Google search all of Ramblings. All the main pages of 'Wind in the Bush' are listed at the top left of the Wind Home page and each of the states' pages.

Created as a separate page 2004/02/28, modified 2014/07/01
Information about wind farms that I have missed, additional interesting information,
or corrections for anything that I have got wrong, would be greatly appreciated; please give evidence.
About these pages
Contact: email daveclarkecb@yahoo.com

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Updated 2012/08/16


Introduction


 

Wind power support group

Please contact me (email address above) if you are interested in helping set up a SA wind power support group. It could be similar to the Victorian Wind Alliance. Those against wind power are getting organised. Many more people are in favour of wind power, but unfortuneatly they are not saying much.

SA ahead of the pack

SA is well ahead of the other eastern states on wind (31%, all eastern states 3.1%) and solar (SA 3.5%, all eastern states 0.9%) in the March quarter of 2012 according to Renew economy. They got the information from EnergyQuest, AEMO and PV Output.

Retire the coal-fired power stations

South Australia's two coal-fired power stations at Port Augusta shut-down, one permanently; partly due to wind power. An article in The Advertiser, 2012/04/18, said that the Northern Power Station would only run in Summer to meet peak demands while the older Playford Power Station would be shut down permanently. (The PPS was the dirtiest in Australia in terms of carbon dioxide per unit of electricity generated.)

It is likely that the coal-fired power stations will be replaced with a gas-fired station. It would be much better to replace them with renewables; the Australian Youth Climate Coallition have a campagn to Repower Port Augusta with solar thermal and wind power – please support them.

This page discusses matters that relate to wind-generated electricity, especially as it is developing in South Australia. It is intended to be factual; any opinion or speculation is clearly shown as such. I would appreciate being informed of any errors that I might have made (email address above).

The Australian Energy Market Operator's (AEMO) 2011 SA Supply and Demand Outlook report stated that wind generation supplies approximately 20% of electricity demand. It also showed that SA's greenhouse emissions from electricity generation had decreased from about 10 000 000 tonnes in 2005/06 to about 8 000 000 tonnes in 2010/11. In late 2011 almost half of Australia's installed wind power was in South Australia. For the year 2011 around 25% of SA's power was generated by wind turbines.

Before 2003 there was only one large wind turbine in South Australia: a 150kW unit at Coober Pedy. As of October 2011 there was over 1200MW of operational wind farm capacity in South Australia and the state had about as high an installed capacity of wind power per capita as any nation in the world (see Installed wind power per capita and How does Australia compare?).

End of SA government support for renewable energy?

On 2012/02/21 Adelaide Now carried an article announcing that Renewable Energy Commissioner Tim O'Loughlin's position has been terminated 18 months early. The Renewable Energy Fund had been scrapped earlier, with more than half being unspent.

Is seems that Premier Jay Weatherill is not so keen on renewable energy as was his predecessor, Mike Rann. Politicians being what they are, one wonders whether Jay sees renewable energy as Mike's baby and that if he continues to support wind power he will only be perceived as following in Mike's footsteps. He would perhaps prefer to be seen as a leader in some other direction rather than a follower in this direction?

Whatever the reason, it looks like a blow for action on climate change.

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Updated 2014/06/21

Installed capacities of existing SA wind farms

Installed wind power in South Australia
by wind farm, July 2014
NameDate completedMW
Bluff Range (Hallett #5) Late 201152.5
Brown Hill Range (Hallett #1) June 200894.5
Canunda March 200546.0
Cathedral Rocks Sept. 2005?66.0
Clements Gap Late 200956.7
Hallett Hill (Hallett #2) Late 200971.4
Lake Bonney Stage 1 March 200580.5
Lake Bonney Stage 2 April 2008?159.0
Lake Bonney Stage 3 Late 2009?39.0
Mount Millar Dec. 200570.0
North Brown Hill (Hallett #4)after Oct. 2010132.3
Snowtown Sept. 2008100.8
Snowtown Stage 2 July 2014270.0
Starfish Hill Sept. 200334.5
Waterloo Oct. 2010?111.0
Wattle Point May 200590.8
Subtotal Hallett350.7
Subtotal Mid North619.2
Subtotal Lake Bonney278.5
Subtotal Snowtown 1 and 2370.8
Total1475
 
It is interesting to compare this with the installed capacity of the solar photovoltaic power of South Australia's roof-top solar systems. The Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator reported that up to and including February 2014 the combined total of solar generating capacity of all the Small Generating Units was 496MW. (The capacity factor of solar PV is about half that of wind, so 500MW of installed PV will generate about as much electricity as 250MW of installed wind power.)

By mid 2014, with the completion of Snowtown Stage 2, South Australia had about 880W of installed wind power per person (Denmark, the nation with the most wind power per person, had about 860W).

Actual productivity as a percentage of installed capacity (Capacity factor) is about 34% for wind power and 18% for solar power in Australia.

Limit to growth

How much more growth there can be in wind power in SA is questionable with the present power transmission network in need of substantial upgrading. Of course a far greater threat to renewable energy in SA and Australia is the pro-coal Abbott Government.

Operating SA wind farms, Megawatts installed capacity
At December 2011
Operating wind farms in SA

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Updated 2014/07/02

SA wind farm generation data

 
South Australian electricity generated by energy source, 2012-13; from the Australian Energy Market Operator, 2014 SA Fuel and Technology Report
SA generation mix
 
SA wind farms – average actual generation up to the end of 2012
Wind farms in SA - generation
Total 393MW
 

Lack of data

Generation data from all of the Australian wind farms connected to the two (WA and eastern Australian) power grids should be freely available in useful formats (eg. daily, weekly, monthly, annually) to the general public. They are not.
Contrary to lies commonly perpetrated by wind farm opponents: This section aims to set out the relevant facts, including some that are not favourable to wind power. Other than the graph on the right, where the data came from many sources, the information of this section has mostly been extracted from two sources: the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and The Australian Department of Climate Change.

The graph at the right shows average generation data extracted from AEMO records for SA wind farms. Generation data for all Australian farms handled by the AEMO can be seen on my Wind Power Australia page and an explanation of how the data were obtained is given there.

A wind turbine rarely generates at 100% of its installed capacity. The percentage of the installed capacity that is actually achieved is called the capacity factor. The installed capacities of these wind farms is given above.

Unfortuneatly, when electricity is most needed, at peak power consumption, winds and wind generation both tend to be less than average. The AEMO (SA Supply and Demand Outlook, 2011) estimated that at time of summer peak power demand wind will only provide 5%, and at winter peak, 3.5%, respectively, of installed capacity. However, the 2013 Australian Energy Market Operator's (AEMO) report titled South Australian Electricity Report stated that:

"Based on historical analysis, AEMO estimates that at times of maximum summer demand, rooftop PV may contribute 40% of the total installed capacity, which, for example, compares to 33% in New South Wales and 34% in Queensland."
Solar and wind power, both renewables, are highly complimentary.

Percentage of wind power in SA

27% of SA's electricity generated by the wind in 2012/13

The 2013 Australian Energy Market Operator's (AEMO) report titled South Australian Electricity Report stated that in 2012/13 wind was 23% of installed generating capacity in SA and it generated 27% of SA's electricity. 52% was generated by gas, 17% by coal and 4% by rooftop PV solar. This is a total of 31% of SA's electricity being generated by renewables.

With wind power getting ahead of coal it's no wonder that the Liberals are concerned about the falling profitability of the fossil fuel industry.

41% of SA's electricity from wind in the third quarter of 2013

Dr Graham Bethune (CEO of Energy Quest – an energy advisory and research firm) said on ABC 891 Radio on 2013/12/09 that in the third quarter of 2013 41% of South Australia's electricity was generated by wind turbines.

This figure might well be higher than expected – I believe that September was unusually windy.

38% average renewable electricity with Snowtown 2 plus solar PV

SA's installed wind power is to be increased by a further 22% when the currently under construction Snowtown Stage 2 is completed, so we could see 50% of SA's power being generated by wind and solar for lengthy periods. The 22% increase will mean that wind power will go from an average of 27% to around 33%, and adding an approximate 5% for solar PV will give a total of 38% by early 2015.

85% of SA's electricity from wind

85% of South Australia's electricity was generated by wind turbines for a short time on the morning of Monday 3rd September (2012/09/03). SA is way ahead of Texas in the USA, which managed 26% on November 10th (2012/11/10).



Wind power is providing an increasing proportion of SA's electricity

 
Percentage of SA Energy Contribution by Fuel Type
Wind farm generation
The graph on the right was extracted from the AEMO 2012 SA Historic Market Information document. It shows the substantial growth in the proportion of SA's power that is made up by wind power. (Note that this is actual electrical energy generated, in GWh, not installed power capacity, in MW.)

South Australia is of course connected to the SE Australian power grid which supplies large parts of NSW, Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria with electricity. SA imported less power, and exported more power, to the other states over this period (see the graph below).

The increase in wind power generation has played a big part in making the closing down of the old and polluting, coal burning, Thomas Playford Power Station at Port Augusta possible. SA's other coal-burning power station, the Northern Power Station, also at Port Augusta, is only to be used in the period from October to March each year in the future.

The 270MW Snowtown Wind Farm, Stage 2 is expected to come on-line by the end of 2014, substantially increasing the proportion of SA's power generated by the wind.

The orange columns are coal-fired power; yellow, gas-fired; blue, wind; and black is power imported from the eastern states by the interconnectors.



South Australia's electricity imports are decreasing due to increased wind power

 
SA annual electricity imports and exports
Electricity exports and imports
The graph on the right was extracted from the AEMO 2012 SA Historic Market Information document. It shows how SA's annual electricity imports from the eastern states have decreased, and exports increased, in the period over which SA's wind power has been increasing. (Orange is power imports, yellow is power exports.)

The AEMO document stated "Historically, South Australia imported electricity from Victoria, however from 2006-07 a combination of factors including more expensive interstate supply, dryer/drought conditions affecting interstate hydro generation supplies, and an increase in wind farm construction in South Australia led to changes in the South Australian supply mix. South Australia now imports and exports energy."



 
Updated 2014/02/04

Greenhouse gas emissions due to SA's electricity consumption are decreasing
SA's wind farms are causing greenhouse gas abatement

 
SA annual CO2-e emissions from generation and power imports
Emissions from generation
The graph on the right was extracted from the AEMO 2012 SA Historic Market Information document. It shows emissions from SA electricity generation (orange) and from electricity imports (yellow) over the period 2005/06 to 2011/12.

The AEMO 2013 SA Historic Market Information report stated that for the 2012/13 year "Total greenhouse gas emissions are down from 2011/12 by 7%". It also stated "Emissions associated with South Australian electricity have been gradually declining over the past few years, due to increased wind generation and reduced generation from coal. Continuing recent trends, in 2012-13 low electricity demand in the state has also contributed to the reduction in emissions."

Abatement and emissions intensity relating to all Australia's wind farms is discussed elsewhere on these pages.

Update

The AEMO South Australian Historical Market Information report for 2013 showed emissions continuing to fall in the 2012-13 year.


As installed wind power increases, greenhouse intensity decreases

 
SA wind power and greenhouse intensity
Wind farm generation
The graph on the right was produced from greenhouse intensity data (pink line) extracted from SA Dept. Climate Change National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System Measurement Technical Guidelines of 2008 to 2011 and from my own records of SA installed wind power (blue points). It strongly suggests that the growth of wind power in SA has resulted in substantial reductions in greenhouse intensity.


How much power do wind farms produce and when do they produce it?

 
Normalised generation duration curve for wind in SA
Wind farm generation
Based on a graph in the 2008 SA ESIPC annual report
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This graph shows the percentage of the time when total wind farm output in SA exceeds a given percentage of installed capacity. For example, it shows that 10% of the time the wind farms are producing about 55% of installed capacity and 60% of the time they are producing about 18% of installed capacity.

How much power do wind farms produce in peak power demand times?

 
Histogram of Normalised Wind Output for High Demand Periods
High demand period generation
Figure from 2008 SA ESIPC annual report
The X and Y axes are the same as on the previous graph. This graph shows that 50% of the time during periods of high electricity demand South Australia's wind farms have produced at about 20% of their installed capacity. Wind energy availability is lower than average at times of peak demand.

The AEMO SA Supply and Demand Outlook, 2011 stated that "The maximum demand for the year was 3 433 MW, and occurred 4:30 PM (Australian Eastern Standard Time) Monday 31 January 2011 (at a temperature of 42.9°C)." and "Wind contributed only 60 MW during the summer 2011 maximum demand... However, at times during the week either side of the maximum demand, that output reached 873 MW."

Wind farm generation at times of peak demand tends to be low. Peak demand relies heavily on gas-fired generators.

Summer peak demand days generally coincides with high generation from solar power systems, as skies are usually clear at the time. However, as the actual peak usually comes late in the day – when people are coming home from work, turning air conditioners on and preparing dinner – it coincides with declining solar PV generation.




Capacities of conventional power stations, for comparison

 
Updated 2010/03/19
Updated from ESIPC Annual Planning Rept. 2009
RegionNameOperatorFuelCapacity (MW)
Adelaide Dry CreekInternational PowerNatural gas156
Osborne (Co-gen)NRG FlindersNatural gas 190
Pelican PointInternational PowerNatural gas487
Quarantine StationOriginNatural gas227
Torrens Island AAGL EnergyNatural gas480
Torrens Island BAGL EnergyNatural gas/oil800
NorthernAngastonInfratilNatural gas 49
HallettAGLNatural gas192
MintaroInternational PowerNatural gas90
Northern (Port Augusta)NRG FlindersCoal520
Playford (Port Augusta)NRG FlindersCoal240
SoutheastLadbroke GroveOriginNatural gas 86
SnuggeryInternational PowerDistillate78
Eyre Peninsula Port LincolnInternational PowerDistillate48
Port Lincoln 3Under constructionDistillate(25)
Total of all above 3644
 
All of these power stations are fossil-fuelled; most use natural gas, the Port Augusta stations burn coal.

The journal Windpower Monthly (July 2003) stated that the average electricity load in SA is 1500 MW.

Minimum overnight demand is about 1000 MW (pers. com. Lewis W. Owens, then Chairman of Essential Services Commission of SA).

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Edited 2014/01/05

Growth of the SA wind industry

 
Data from my own records
Chronological
YearMWCumulative MWName
200334.534.5Starfish Hill
200590.8125.3Wattle Point
200546.0171.3Lake Bonney Stage 1
200566.0317.8Cathedral Rocks
200570.0387.8Mount Millar
200894.5482.3Brown Hill Range (Hallett)
2008159.0641.3Lake Bonney Stage 2
2008100.8742.1Snowtown
200956.7798.8Clements Gap
200971.4870.2Hallett Hill (Hallett)
200939.0909.2Lake Bonney Stage 3
2010111.01020.2Waterloo
2011132.31152.5North Brown Hill (Hallett)
201152.51205.0Bluff Range (Hallett)
In early 2003 the only large wind turbine in South Australia was a 0.15 MW unit at Coober Pedy.

The proportion of wind-generated electricity in South Australia went from virtually zero in early 2003 to 27% in 2012/13 and is expected to increase subtantially again when Snowtown Stage 2 is finished (up to around 33%). This will be a remarkable achievement in just over ten years, and shows what can be done, even in a national environment that is not particularly favourable to renewable energy (there is a very strong and influential fossil fuel lobby).

Unfortunately by March 2011 there was a downturn in wind farm construction. At that time there was only one small wind farm (Bluff Range, 25 turbines) under construction in SA, and there were no others ready to begin construction.

No more wind farms were built until Snowtown Stage 2 was commenced in August of 2012 (still under construction in January 2014).

The years shown in the table on the right are the years in which the wind farms were completed.

Over the past decade worldwide wind energy generation capacity has been increasing by around 25% per year while wind energy prices have been falling by 4% per year.

 
Wind Penetration in SA
 Total Generation
(GWh)
Wind Generation
(GWh)
Wind
Penetration
200611 553714 6.2%
200714 310 1 0577.4%
200814 414 1 80712.5%
200913 976 2 33416.7%
2010 (up to October)11 617 2 00117.2%
2012/13-- 27%
For the table on the right:

  • data to 2010 were from Intelligent Energy Systems (IES), Insider, "Penetration and Spot Revenue", 2011.
  • 2010 figure from a March 2012 press release by EnergyQuest.
  • 2012/13 figure from Australian Energy Market Operator.


 
SA government sustainable energy initiatives in perspective
The figures are installed capacities
ProjectMW
Government Adelaide Airport PV 0.11
Goyder Pavilion PV1.00
Wilpena PV 0.10
Commercial Wind farms (at the end of 2010)1150.40
Potential further on-shore wind developments 25 000    
Potential off-shore wind developments 25 000    
The table on the right places the South Australian Government's projects in perspective against commercial wind farms.

If the SA government was serious about maximising SA's sustainable power it could spend taxpayer's money much more productively than on tiny 'showcase' projects, for example by upgrading power transmission lines.

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The future of wind power in SA

Climate change is happening and must be minimised; Australia and the world must move away from fossil fuels. I don't think that any reasonable and informed person can doubt this any more. Unfortunately Australian governments are not giving climate change the high priority that it needs.

 
Turbine stumps and old tree
The lower two sections have been erected for these Brown Hill Range turbines. Two more tower sections to go, followed by the turbine itself.
2007/12/12
Wind, at the present, is the most economically competitive form of sustainable energy ready to take a significant part of the load, although solar photovoltaic (PV) is closing the economic gap. Using biological waste and methane from land-fill to generate electricity is feasible and is being done, but its capacity is limited. It is looking like solar thermal and 'hot dry rock' geothermal is close to being competitive, but these are not ready yet and will take many years to 'scale-up' to the point where they are major sources of energy. Wave-power, harnessing algae to produce fuels, and other alternatives seem further away. A decade or two could change that picture.

Certainly wind power is not 'the answer' to climate change. Only a naive person would believe that there is a single answer, and only a naive person would object to wind power because it is not 'the answer'. It is a part of 'the answer'. Other parts are energy conservation, technological innovation, development of other forms of sustainable energy, and education. (I have listed some suggestions in What should be done.)

So, what is the future of wind power in SA?

 

ElectraNet

ElectraNet "Is the principal Transmission Network Service Provider (TNSP) and System Control Centre Operator in South Australia, and we operate in the National Electricity Market."

In regard to the future of wind power their SA Annual Planning Report of 2011 stated that: "Studies show that the existing transmission network has the capacity to enable up to approximately 2300 MW of wind generation in South Australia before generation exceeds regional demand and interconnector export capacity. This means that the currently installed wind generation capacity could roughly be doubled. Beyond this, more extensive development of South Australia's renewable energy resources would require significant transmission investment."

Also in the planning report: "Inter-regional capacity to export energy from South Australia is limited, potentially restricting flows from existing and additional generation connecting in South Australia. This is particularly noticeable during periods of light load and high wind conditions".

Upgrade interconnector

ABC News 2013/01/17 announced that ElectraNet is to "upgrade the Heywood substation and reconfigure the south-east network at a cost of $108 million". This will "pave the way for more South Australian wind energy to be transferred interstate, opening the door for more investment in the technology."
If the logic in the few sentences above is correct, then wind power must be developed to the maximum reasonable degree and as quickly as possible. Wind farms could be built along most of the west-facing coasts of South Australia. That is, from near Ceduna to Coffin Bay on Eyre Peninsula, along much of the west coast of Yorke Peninsula and from around Meningie to Port MacDonald in the South East. Wind turbines could be built along many of the major rounded north-south ridges of the Mount Lofty Ranges and the Southern Flinders Ranges.

One of the greatest problems for future development of wind power in South Australia is the lack of transmission lines in many of the areas with good wind resources. No further development is possible on the Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas for lack of transmission capacity, and the huge potential resource on Kangaroo Island cannot be developed for the same reason.

I would hope and expect that national parks and conservation parks would be kept free of wind farm developments.

Will we get sick of the sight of wind turbines? Quite possibly. The alternatives, it seems to me, are either to throw caution (and sanity) to the wind and continue with fossil fuels, or to totally change our life-styles and enormously cut down on the amount of energy that we use, in our personal lives and in industry. I cannot imagine our society being ready or willing to do the latter and I hope we will not be so stupidly short-sighted as to do the former.






 
Wind turbine at Starfish Hill, Fleurieu Peninsula
Wind turbine at Starfish Hill, Fleurieu Peninsula

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South Australian wind farms

Wind farms in SA
(Locality in brackets)

Allendale (south east SA)
Barn Hill (Red Hill)
Bluff Range (Hallett #5)
Brown Hill Range (Hallett #1)
Canunda (Millicent)
Carmodys Hill (Gulnare/Jamestown)
Cathedral Rocks (Port Lincoln)
Ceres Project (Yorke Pen.)
Clements Gap (Crystal Brook)
Collaby Hill (Crystal Brook)
Coober Pedy (far north)
Crystal Brook
Exmoor (South East)
Eyre Peninsula wind project
Green Point (South East)
Hallett Hill (Hallett #2)
Hallett wind farms
Hornsdale (Jamestown)
Keyneton (Lower North)
Lake Bonney wind farms (Millicent)
Lake Bonney Stage 1 (Millicent)
Lake Bonney Stage 2 (Millicent)
Lake Bonney Stage 3 (Millicent)
Lincoln Gap/Port Augusta
Mount Bryan (Hallett #3)
Mount Millar (Cowell/Cleve)
Myponga-Sellicks Hill (Fleurieu)
North Brown Hill (Hallett #4)
Palmer (Eastern Mt Lofty Ranges)
Robe (Millicent)
Robertstown (Clare)
Snowtown (Clare)
Snowtown, Stage 2
Starfish Hill (Fleurieu Pen.)
Stony Gap (Clare)
Troubridge Point (Yorke Pen.)
Vincent North (Yorke Pen.)
Waterloo (Clare)
Wattle Point (Edithburgh)
Willogoleche Hill (Hallett)
Woakwine Range (Millicent)
Worlds End (Burra)
Wind farms by region
Other proposed SA wind farms


Note: Latitudes and Longitudes are given below in decimal degrees. They are given to two decimal places because this defines the location to ±1 km; a wind farm is a large thing and typically covers a number of kilometres.

Note that the wind farms listed here as proposed or approved will not necessarily ever be built. You can't be sure that anything is going to be built until it starts happening.

SA wind farms by region

Also see Wind farms by location, elsewhere on this page.

As of January 2012
All operating wind farms and those under construction are shown here.
The 'MW' column shows installed capacities.
Also see Power generation of wind farms.
RegionWind farmMW Status
Eyre Peninsula
136 MW operating
Cathedral Rocks 66Operating
Mount Millar 70Operating
Fleurieu Pen.
34.5 MW operating
Starfish Hill 34.5Operating
Hallett
(Burra, Jamestown area)
298.2 MW operating

350.7 MW operating or under construction
Bluff Range 52.5Operating
Brown Hill Range 94.5Operating
Hallett Hill 71.4Operating
North Brown Hill 132.3Operating
Mid-North
(other than Hallett)
266.4 MW operating
Clements Gap 56.7Operating
Snowtown 101Stage 1 operating
Waterloo 117Operating
South East
324.5 MW operating
Canunda (Millicent)
46Operating
Lake Bonney Stage 1 80.5Operating
Lake Bonney Stage 2 159Operating
Lake Bonney Stage 3 39Operating
Yorke Peninsula
91 MW operating
Wattle Point 91Operating
Colour coding for wind farm
status, below
Proposed
Development applic. lodged
Approved
Under construction
Operating


Wind generation in SA by region
Wind generation in SA by region
Average generation up to end 2012 in MW (total 399MW). The averages were calculated from differing starting dates for the various wind farms. Mid-North wind farms were responsible for 58% of the total.
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Updated 2014/05/09

Where SA and Mid-North SA stand on the world scene

Climate change will result in the extinction of thousands or even millions of species. It will cause the displacement of billions of people, and quite possibly the deaths of billions as well – from flooding of fertile river deltas, coasts, and desertification of large areas of what is now farm land, and from the mass migrations and wars that will result. Ocean acidification, also caused by the release of huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, is another looming disaster.

Australia ranks 53rd in the world in population, but sixth in the world in the CO2 produced by its electricity industry. Australia has 0.3% of the world's population, but produces 1.5% of the world's CO2. We Australian's have an ethical responsibility to lift our game. Changing from fossil-fuel generated electricity to sustainably generated electricity is one way we can do that.

In early 2003 SA had negligible sustainably generated electricity, just ten years later, in the 2012/13 financial year, 27% of our electricit was generated from the wind. That is remarkable progress.

In 2011 both Denmark, the world's leading nation, and SA had around 700 Watts of installed wind power per person.

Mid-North SA

 

Increase in Mid North wind power

Total installed wind power in Mid North SA will be increased by another 270MW with the 90 × 3MW turbines now (May 2014) nearing completion as Snowtown Wind Farm Stage 2.

This will increase Australia's installed wind power by 8.4% and South Australia's by 22%. It will increase the total installed wind power in the Mid North by 44% from 619MW to 889MW.

With Snowtown 2, installed wind power per person in the Mid North will be around 12 000 Watts and when it goes into full production the Mid North's wind farms will be generating an average of around 4000 Watts per Mid North resident.

To put this in perspective, average home power consumption per person in the Mid North is around 260 Watts, and Germany, the nation with the highest solar power capacity per capita in the world, has 400 Watts per person of installed solar.

I live in Mid-North SA where there is 619MW of installed wind power and this generates an average of about 230MW (as of early 2013). Another way of looking at this is that, with a population of about 75 000, our wind farms generate around 3000 Watts for each person in the region (see graph above)! If the rest of South Australia, Australia, and the world was to follow our lead we would be well and truly on top of the climate change problem. We are well up among the world leaders in renewable energy. This is something of which those of us in the Mid-North, who either work in or support the wind industry, should be intensely proud.

It is also progress that is in danger of ending if the Liberals have their way. Local Liberal parliamentarians such as Senator Sean Edwards and Rowan Ramsey oppose wind power. (More on those who unethically oppose wind power.)

We in the Mid-North are leading the world in the fight against climate change! It should be a huge positive, but few people seem to see it as such – or if they do, they don't talk about it. Perhaps it's because people feel that they have no part in the wind power developments, they are just bystanders – and that is true if they choose to make it true. (See Why support wind power.)




 
Altered 2012/01/20


Wind farms by location

Below is a conceptual map of SA. The numbers in each cell are the Latitude and Longitude, the main town in each area is shown in the cells. Placing the mouse over the highlighted bits will show which wind farms are in that area, clicking will allow you to get to the details of those wind farms. Similar sections are in the pages on NSW and Victoria and WA.

This section can be used as an alternative to the Wind farm by region section.

26,133 – far north, not to scale
Coober Pedy, Leigh Creek, Marla, Woomera
32,133
Ceduna
32,134
Wirrulla
32,135
Minnipa
32,136 32,137
Pt Augusta
32,138
Orroroo
32,139
Yunta
32,140
Olary
33,134
Elliston
33,135
Wudinna
33,136
Cowell
33,137
Whyalla
33,138
Clare
33,139
Robertstown
33,140
Canopus
34,135
Pt Lincoln
34,137
Minlaton
34,138
Adelaide
34,139
Swan Reach
34,140
Renmark
35,137
Kingscote
35,138
Cape Jervis
35,139
Meningie
35,140
Lameroo
36,139
Kingston
36,140
Bordertown
37,139
Robe
37,140
Mt Gambier
38,140
Pt Macdonnell



The status of the wind farms below is correct, so far as I know, in April 2011.

Lat 26 to 31, Long 129 to 140 – Far north
Coober Pedy, one turbine, operating.

Lat 32, Long 137 – Port Augusta
Port Augusta, proposed.

Lat 33, Long 136 – Cleve/Cowell
Mount Millar, operating.

Lat 33, Long 138 – Clare
Barn Hill, proposed; Carmodys Hill, proposal abandoned; Clements Gap, operating; Crystal Brook, proposal abandoned; Hornsdale, proposed; Hallett, four stages operating, one proposed; Snowtown, one stage operating, one under construction; Stony Gap, proposed; Waterloo, operating.

Lat 33, Long 139 – Robertstown
Robertstown, proposed; Worlds End, proposed.

Lat 34, Long 135 – Port Lincoln
Cathedral Rocks, operating.

Lat 34, Long 137 – Minlaton
Ceres Project, proposed.

Lat 34, Long 139 – Swan Reach
Keynton approved; Palmer, proposed.

Lat 35, Long 137 – Kingscote/Edithburgh
Wattle Point, operating.

Lat 35, Long 138 – Cape Jervis
Myponga-Sellicks Hill, proposal abandoned; Starfish Hill, operating.

Lat 37, Long 139 – Robe
Robe, proposed; Woakwine, proposed.

Lat 37, Long 140 – Mount Gambier
Canunda, operating; Lake Bonney, three stages operating.

Lat 38, Long 140 – Port Macdonnell
Allendale, proposed; Green Point, proposed.

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Updated 2013/02/19

Allendale Wind Farm

Also known as Allendale East Wind Farm

 
Allendale 
location
Map credit Acciona
This project was proposed by Acciona Energy. ABC on-line News announced that Acciona had withdrawn the proposal because it would not be commercially viable (2013/02/19).

The District Council of Grant granted approval to Acciona's Development Application in March 2010; however this was appealed; see 'Court case', below.

It is proposed that the wind farm be about two kilometres east of Allendale East and about 18 km south of Mount Gambier. Port Macdonnell is about seven kilometres SW of the farm.

Acciona arranged a visit about September 2010 to the Waubra Wind Farm for the local people who are expecting to become a part of the Allendale project. As well as a guided tour of the wind farm the Allendale people had a chance to chat to farmers involved in the Waubra Wind Farm.

Court case

A dairy farmer, Richard Paltridge, has brought a case against this wind farm in the Environment Resources and Development (ERD) Court. Adelaide Now (2011/01/29) stated that Mr Paltridge "has concerns relating to the humming noise of the turbines and its possible long-term health impact, the flashing lights on turbine towers and obstruction of views".

Richard Paltridge's appeal was upheld and Justice Costello, while rejecting evidence pertaining to health problems, upheld the appeal on the basis of visual amenity. (Reported in The Courier 2011/06/24.) It seems that this is the first time an appeal against a wind farm has been upheld on visual amenity grounds.

On 2011/07/11 ABC on-line news carried an article stating that Acciona is appealing against the ERD Court's ruling.

Community funding

Acciona have not responded to my inquiry regarding community funding at Waubra; perhaps, unlike a number of other companies, they don't provide any?

Summary data for Allendale Wind Farm
StatusNo. of turbinesMW eachTotal MWConstruction date LatLong
Project abandoned461.569 UnknownS 38.00°E 140.78°

Further information on Allendale wind farm
Tower heightUp to 80m
Blade lengthUp to 41m
Maximum height – to blade tipUp to 121m
Expected greenhouse CO2 abatement180 000 tonnes per year
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Updated 2013/09/03

Barn Hill Wind Farm (Red Hill, Mundoora)

This project belongs to AGL who held an information day at Redhill on 2012/03/03. The project has been approved, but AGL is seeking amendments to the approval.

 

Modifications approved

It was reported by ABC on-line news on 2013/09/03 that the Port Pirie Regional Council's Development Assessment Panel had approved changes to the wind farm. The towers are to be taller than originally planed, and the turbine layout has been modified.
AGL seems not to have a Net page specific to the project; which suggests that they are not very serious about informing the public. There is a mention of the project at "http://www.agl.com.au/about/ASXReleases/Pages/ AGLacquirestwowindfarmdevelopmentsfromTransfieldServices.aspx" (there are no spaces in the URL); but this was written in 2009. About 4 points out of 10 to AGL for effort!

AGL gave contacts for inquiries as:
Project Manager Evan Carless 02 9921 2214;
Community Engagement Officer Judy Ipper 03 8633 7452

StatusNo. of turbinesMW eachTotal MWConstruction date LatLong
ApprovedUp to 622.1 to 3130 to 186Unknown S 33.57°E 138.16°

Barn Hill is a prominent hill about 8 km SW of Red Hill, about 6 km east of Mundoora and 160 km NNW of Adelaide. It is conspicuous from the plains around Port Broughton, and is named The Bluff on some maps.

Stanwell Corporation, sold their interest in Barn Hill to Transfield Services Infrastructure in December 2007 and on 2009/06/18 AGL Energy Limited announced that it had acquired the rights to Barn Hill Wind Farm.

Transfield held public meetings at Redhill and Mundoora to discuss development of the wind farm in June 2008; they submitted a Development Application to the Port Pirie and Wakefield councils in September 2008 and this was approved in late January 2009.

The Barn Hill Wind Farm, if it is built rather than simply being sold from one potential developer to another, will fill the space along the Barunga Range between Clements Gap and Snowtown Wind Farms. (That is, from the Hope Gap Road in the south to the Torrs Gap Road in the north.)

Further information on Barn Hill wind farm
Estimated average wind speed8.3m/sec.

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Edited 2013/06/16

Canunda Wind Farm

Canunda summary data
StatusNo. of turbinesManufacturerModelMW each Total MWCompletedCapacity factorLatLong
Operating23VestasV80246Opened March 2005 30%S 37.61°E 140.29°
The capacity factor above was taken from AEMO data for June 2008 to December 2012 inclusive.

 
Canunda/Lake Bonney wind turbines
Wind turbines of Canunda/Lake Bonney
A 46 MW $92.5M wind farm on Woakwine ridge near Tantanoola owned by Canunda Power P.L., a wholly owned subsidiary of UK-based International Power P.L. IP has a Net page on the wind farm. For directions to Canunda go to ExplorOz.

The first two turbines were switched on in early November 2004. The wind farm consists of 23 turbines each of 2 MW. AGL has signed a deal to purchase all the power generated at this wind farm.

This wind farm was formerly called Lake Bonney Central Wind Farm.

Also see Canunda photos and notes on visiting Canunda.

Further information on Canunda Wind Farm
Wind generatorsVestas 2 MW
Rotation rateBetween 9 and 19rpm, depending on wind speed
Tower height67m
Blade length39m
Total height to blade tip107m
Cut-in wind speed4m/sec.
Max. energy wind speed14m/sec.
Cut-out wind speed25m/sec.
Distribution power line33kV double-circuit, 16 km long
SubstationSnuggery


 
Generation record
Generation record
Data up to end 2012

Generation record for Canunda

The graph on the right shows the power generation record for Canunda Wind Farm as recorded by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) and downloaded via the ALG (Australian Landscape Guardians) Net site. The units are average megawatts generated month by month.

In 2009 Canunda wind farm generated 119 GWh of renewable electricity and fed it into the National Grid.

Community funding

Wattle Range Council co-ordinates a Financial Assistance Grant of behalf of Canunda Power for $4000 annually. (Pers. Com. C.L. Bell, W.R. Council). This equates $174 per turbine per year. (Confirmed by Mark Williams, International Power Australia.)




 
Updated 2013/02/26

Carmodys Hill Wind Farm

Sometimes called Gulnare Wind Farm

The site is east of Georgetown and runs along 18 km of ridge-line south from Bundaleer Forest to Mount Misery. It is about 170 km north of Adelaide.

Summary data for Carmodys Hill Wind Farm
StatusNo. of turbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLatLong
Proposedup to 702.5up to 175 UnknownS 33.37°E 138.48°

Pac. Hydro have a web page on the project.

Additional data for Carmodys Hill Wind Farm
Project costAus$350 million
Greenhouse abatementEstimated at 540 000 tonnes per year
Electricity generationUp to 613 GWh p.a.

News

From ABC On-line news, 2013/02/26
The project was approved in 2009, but Pacific Hydro did little work on it. When the approval came up for renewal again in 2013 Northern Areas Council rejected it due mainly to lack of progress.
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Edited 2013/06/16

Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm

Cathedral Rocks summary data
StatusNo. of turbinesManufacturerModelMW each Total MWCompletedLatLong
Operating33VestasV80266May 2007 S 34.80E 135.56

Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm is south of Port Lincoln in southern Eyre Peninsula. Port Lincoln is 250 km west of Adelaide as the crow flies, but considerably more by road. It is jointly owned by some combination of TRUenergy, Acciona and EHN (Oceania) Pty. Ltd.

Further data on Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm
Turbine makeVestas
Tower height60m
Rotor diameter80m
Total area covered29 square kilometres
Annual production178 GWh
Capacity factor31%

The annual production and capacity factor figures above are calculated from AEMO data for March 2009 to December 2012 data (inclusive) downloaded via the Australian Landscape Guardians '.csv' format download facility.

 
Cathedral Rocks
Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm
Appreciation to John White Photos
I tried to visit this wind farm in February, 2006. I was disappointed to be informed that the public does not have access to within even a good viewing distance. I was able to see it only by using binoculars from the top of Winters Hill at Pt. Lincoln. Better views would probably be available from Whaler's Way, on the southern tip of Eyre Peninsula.

Not all of the turbines were running on 4th and 5th February 2006 in spite of there seeming to be ample wind.

Fire 2009/02/03

There was a fire in one of the Cathedral Rocks turbines. ABC On-line news reported that the fire was seen from a nearby boat at 1am (third Feb.) Damages have been estimated at $6 million. The fire was confined to the turbine and spots in a small surrounding area of scrub.

An exercise on smoothing the generation

I have used Cathedral Rocks WF as an example of the possible use of hydropower (seawater pumped to cliff-tops when there was plenty of wind and down again through a hydropower station when the wind stopped blowing) on my Sustainable Energy page.

 
Generation record
Generation record
Up to end 2012

Generation record for Cathedral Rocks

The graph on the right shows the power generation record for Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm as recorded by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) and downloaded via the ALG (Australian Landscape Guardians) Net site. The units are average megawatts generated month by month.

Community funding

An inquiry was sent to Roaring 40s (Australia) by email 2010/09/21. No reply had been received to 2011/01/17.
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Updated 2014/02/13

Ceres Project

 
Location plan
Ceres Project, location
Map credit The Ceres Project
A higher definition map is available from the Ceres Project.
REpower, part of the Suzlon Group, have proposed that this wind farm be built in the part of Yorke Peninsula between Ardrossan, Port Vincent and Curramulka. (It seems that REpower are now calling themselves Senvion.) They have an informative Net site about the project. While Suzlon intend to build this wind farm, they will probably use REpower 3.4 MW turbines; the two businesses are linked.

 

News: 2014/02/13

The Herald Sun reported that the Ceres Project has been approved by the state government.

The proponents are now working on getting a power purchase agreement. If that can be obtained (not easy with present anti-renewables, pro-coal, Federal Government), obtaining the funding would follow.

I started a Facebook page on the project 2013/04/22 with the intention of encouraging an open discussion.

The wind farm will consist of four turbine regions. Seven years of collected data suggest that average wind speeds are better than eight metres per second.

If built, this wind farm will be bigger than any currently in Australia, including the 420 MW Macarthur Wind Farm in Victoria.

The power will be sent to Adelaide by an under-sea cable having a diameter of about 10 cm (the existing power transmission lines on Yorke Peninsula are at maximum capacity when Wattle Point Wind Farm is operating at full power). High voltage direct current (HVDC) technology will be used. The lack of suitable transmission lines for the development of sustainable energy in Australia is discussed elsewhere on this site.

The project was initiated by local farmers and developers. The Ceres name comes from a ship that was powered both by sails and steam and built in 1876. Its captain, John Germein, bacame an early pioneer of Yorke Peninsula, and several of his descendents are among the farmers involved in the proposal. (Ceres is the name of the largest of the asteroids, and the first to be discovered, in 1801; and also the Roman goddess of agriculture.)

A similar wind farm, with undersea transmission cable, could be built on Kangaroo Island, where the wind resource is probably even better than in this area. This may not have been proposed because of expected public resistance or because the undersea cable would have to be longer and more expensive.



Summary data, Ceres Project
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
Development application lodged1973.4?670? 2014?S 34.61°E 137.74°

Additional data on Ceres Project
Owner/operatorSuzlon
Project costAus$1.3 billion
Capacity factorMore than 38% expected
Annual generationAbout 2000 GWh/yr expected
Annual CO2 abatementAbout two million tonnes
Equivalent number of rooftop solar systemsAbout 500 000 (assuming an averge of 2.5kW each)

There is significant local opposition to this project, some farmers have expressed concern because if its perceived impact on agricultural aircraft operations, and others object because they feel it is inappropriate in prime agricultural land.

The Ceres project has a very good frequently asked questions section; although it is not without errors.

Why Ceres rather than another wind farm elsewhere?

As I write this, in May 2013, there are a number of substantial wind farms feeding power into the transmission lines that were built to carry electricity from the old coal-fired power stations at Port Augusta to Adelaide. There are a further 90 turbines, each of 3MW, being built at Snowtown Stage 2, and there are several other wind farms proposed that will also feed power into the northern transmission lines.

The northern lines, I believe, are getting close to their full capacity. The Ceres wind farm will feed power direct to Adelaide via and undersea cable and not place any more demands on the northern transmission lines.

It has been claimed that the wind farm is not compatible with productive farm land. That this is not so can be demonstrated by the successful combination with high agricultural productivity and a high density of wind farms in the US situation.

Opposition

 

NSW Farmers Guide to Wind Farms

NSW Farmers have released a Guide for farmers. Contrary to the claims made by HF, under 'Impact of farming activities', this document states "Host landholders generally find that wind farm development does not significantly impact farm operations." The document is generally quite favourable to wind farms, as it should be, because there are few negatives associated with wind turbines.
What appears to be the main opposition group, Heartland Farmers (HF), placed a full page advertisement in the Yorke Peninsula Country Times on 2013/02/12. The advertisement contained a number of exaggerations or false statements. (I have written about Heartland Farmers and their duplicity on another page; and there is a page on the Ceres project.)

Community funding

According to the Ceres Project Net page, a total of $150 000 per year has been promised; while this is a very large total, it is probably a bit less than average in 'per turbine' terms ($754).
 
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Edited 2013/06/16

Clements Gap Wind Farm

Pacific Hydro has a Net site on the Wind Farm.

Clements Gap summary data
StatusNo. of turbinesManufacturerModelMW each Total MWCompletedLatLong
Operating27SuzlonS882.156.7Late 2009 S 33.50°E 138.11°

 
Clements Gap
The range on which the Clements Gap turbines are to be built.
Clements Gap itself is in the hollow beyond the near hill
2007/10/07
First towers
The first three half-towers are up.
2009/03/23
Tower and blades
18 half-towers up and many blades on-site
2009/04/10
Clements Gap is about 15 km south of Crystal Brook and 180 km north of Adelaide. For directions to Clements Gap go to ExplorOz.

While the turbines were imported, the towers were manufactured in Adelaide. Pacific Hydro has a Net page on the project, the full URL is "http://www.pacifichydro.com.au/en-us/our-projects/australia-/ clements-gap-wind-farm.aspx" (note that there should be no spaces in the URL).

Further information on Clements Gap Wind Farm...
The project
Owner/operatorPacific Hydro
Estimated costAus$135 million
Turbine makeSuzlon
Electricity generationEstimated 170 GWh/annum
Capacity factor35%
Greenhouse gas savingEstimated 170 000t/yr
Total cargo to be transported to site8 000 tonnes
The capacity factor above was calculated from AEMO data from August 2009 to December 2012 data (inclusive) downloaded via the Australian Landscape Guardians Net pages.

The turbines
Wind generatorsSuzlon S-88-2.1 MW
Hub height80m
Swept area of each turbine0.6ha
Total steel in towers4 400 tonnes

Air seems insubstantial, but this can be misleading. It is interesting to note that at full production ten million tonnes of air will pass through the 27 turbines of Clements Gap Wind Farm each hour.

Estimated payback time for the "embodied energy" of the whole wind farm is approximately five months.

Most of the information for this section came from Pacific Hydro and Suzlon; in particular Terry Teoh of the former and Megan Wheatley of the latter.

I did a very short investigation on 2010/07/19. The closest occupied houses to the turbines of this wind farm seemed to be at least one kilometre away.

Infrasound testing

The South Australian Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) produced a report titled "Infrasound levels near windfarms and in other environments" in January 2013. Clements Gap was one of the wind farms that was used in the study.

Turbines
Completed turbines at Clements Gap – not yet all operating – 2009/07/24


 
Generation record
Generation record
Up to end 2012

Generation record for Clements Gap

The graph on the right shows the power generation record for Clements Gap Wind Farm as recorded by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) and downloaded via the ALG (Australian Landscape Guardians) Net site. The units are average megawatts generated month by month.

Community funding

Pacific Hydro established a Community Fund of $50 000 per year for the life of this wind farm; this is $1852 per turbine per year and, so far as I know, is more than most wind farms put into the local communities. The first year of operation of the fund was 2009 and as of September 2010 a total of $100k has been distributed.

Air navigation lights

Clements Gap Wind Farm had air navigation lights on a few of its turbines from construction at least to August 2010, but they were switched off by the end of the year.

Noise

I have taken sound level readings at Clements Gap on two occasions (September and October 2010); both times I recorded a maximum of 54 or 54dB(A) at a distance of around 100m from a turbine. Both times the sound levels at distances of 300-500m were in the 40s, and at one or two kilometres, while the turbines were audible, my meter did not register a reading (it has a minimum of 40dB).
Also see notes on Visiting Clements Gap Wind Farm.

Maintenance, May 2012

I noticed on 2012/05/23 that the turbines were not turning in spite of a stiff breeze. Lane Crockett of Pacific Hydro told me that he thought there was some scheduled maintenance happening on the electrical sub-station. The wind farm did not operate from about 1000hrs on 2012/05/20 to 1930hrs 2012/05/24, with the exception of a short burst between 1600 and 1700hrs on 2012/05/21.

 
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Coober Pedy wind turbine

Coober Pedy turbine
Coober Pedy wind turbine
Photo credit: Greg Farkas
StatusNo. of TurbinesMW eachTotal MW CommissionedLatLong
Operating10.150.151991 S 29.03°E 134.76°


This Nordex turbine was the first wind turbine of more than a few kilowatts capacity to be built in South Australia.

Coober Pedy is a remote town about 750 km NNW of Adelaide. Its power supply is by expensive-to-run local diesel powered generators, so even though the area does not have a good wind resource this turbine was thought to be worth building.




 
Updated 2012/04/05

Crystal Brook Wind Farm

Previously known as Collaby Hill Wind Farm

This wind farm was proposed by Origin Energy. Origin announced on 2012/04/04 that they have decided to not proceed with the project. They gave no specific reason for the decision. The project was originally proposed by Wind Farm Developments who never took the project beyond the feasibility stage. Origin took the project over from WFD.

 
Where some of the turbines would have been
Crystal Brook
Youngs Road near Collaby Hill, looking south
Crystal Brook
Looking north from near Crystal Brook in Spring
Crystal Brook is about 200km north of Adelaide by road. The wind farm would have been built on hills that gradually gain in altitude toward the north and are generally accepted as being the southern-most part of the Flinders Ranges, which continue another 350 km to the north. The Mount Lofty Ranges – geologically the same formation – extend from near Crystal Brook 270 km to Cape Jervis in the south.

 
In my opinion, this project was not handled well by Origin. They did not provide anywhere near as much information to the local community as they might have done. Significantly the email I received informing me of Origin's dropping of the project contained the sentence: "We will not be adding anything further beyond this statement."
Originally Origin spoke of 90 turbines, reduced this to 70, and in early 2011 reduced this to 40. Several local people, myself included, felt that Origin has not provided a satisfactory explanation for the last reduction in the area of the project.

The proximity of the proposed wind farm to the Heysen Trail would have provided an opportunity for people to experience, first hand, the sounds and sites of wind turbines close at hand. There are few places in South Australia where the public can walk (or drive) close to a number of operating wind turbines (another will be Mount Bryan Wind Farm, in the Hallett area, if it ever gets built). This would help educate the public and show that wind turbines do not present a health hazard.

Most of the land in this area has been cleared and grazed or cropped for many decades, but there are scattered patches of native scrub. It seems an excellent site for a wind farm; perhaps some other business will take up the oportunity some time in the future.

Wind Farm Developments erected a 50m mast with anemometers about 2005 and later stated that they confirmed the project as viable. This tower was removed and Origin later built four more towers to obtain information on the variation of the wind resource around the area. By August 2010 Origin had eight months of data from their new anemometers and this, combined with the Wind Farm Developments data, convinced them that the resource was of sufficient quality for a viable wind farm.

As a resident of Crystal Brook I had looked forward to the construction of this wind farm with great anticipation. The closest turbines would have been around 4 km from my house.

A local group calling itself the Collaby Hill Wind Farm Action Group formed to oppose the project in 2010. This seems to have been composed of a number of the people who lived near the proposed turbines, but would not directly receive income from turbines on their land (one would have to say that they were motivated by the NIMBY factor).

It was this proposal that got Dr Sarah Laurie started in her ill advised campaign, and that was one of the causes for me to write my wind farms and health.

 
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This section written 2010/09/05

Eyre Peninsula wind project

 
Eyre Peninsula wind resource
The wind resources of Eyre Peninsula; click on the image for a larger map.
Image courtesy of Renewables-SA
The Eyre Peninsula has some of the best wind resources in Australia; see the map on the right and the Australian wind resource map on the Wind Power Potential page. Tim O'Loughlin said that "four internationally experienced wind developers were ready to build more than 2000 MW" of wind farms if transmission constraints could be overcome.

A $4.5b project has been discussed by Tim O'Loughlin (SA Commissioner for Renewable Energy), representatives of Macquarie Capital, and SA Premier Mike Rann.

The project involves a 'Green Grid' (set of high capacity electricity transmission lines) for Eyre Peninsula and an interstate connector that would be built from Port Augusta via south-east SA to Heywood in Victoria. (This would also permit better use of the existing wind farms in the SE and development of more resources there.)

The existing power transmission lines on Eyre Peninsula (as shown on the map) are only 66kV and have no reserve capacity. It has been proposed that a high capacity transmission line be constructed to enable the development of four areas in particular:
 
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  1. Western (around Elliston);
  2. Central (north of Cleve);
  3. Northern (north-west of Port Augusta);
  4. Southern (north of Port Lincoln);
Stage one would connect the first two areas (at an estimated cost of $613m), stage two would connect the other two. The interstate connector is expected to cost $840m.

Average wind speeds in these areas are anticipated to be greater than eight metres per second, a capacity factor of greater than 38% is expected to be achievable and 10 GW (10 000 MW) of wind power capacity could be installed (3000 to 5000 turbines of the size being built in 2010).

Similar power lines have been built at government expense for coal-fired power stations and mines in the past, but never for renewable energy in Australia. Power lines specifically for development of wind resources have been built in Texas.

The Leigh Creek coal reserves that supply the power stations at Port Augusta are expected to run out around 2017. The new wind power and interstate connector will go a long way to fill the gap in the national power supply when the Port Augusta power stations close down. (Also see Capacities of conventional power stations.)

The Port Augusta Transcontinental on-line news carried and article on the proposal dated 2010/09/01.




 
Altered 2011/09/24

Exmoor Wind Farm


REVE announced that Spanish company "Acciona has lodged plans to develop a 144 MW wind power plant with Australia's government". It is proposed to be about 15 km north of Naracoorte in southeast SA.

The REVE article went on to state that the development application could be submitted as early as the end of 2012.



Summary data on Exmoor Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
Proposed483144 UnknownS 36.83°E 140.74°


 
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Green Point Wind Farm

There seems to have been little or no work on this project for several years (as of June 2009).

StatusNo. of TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLatLong
Approved18354 UndecidedS 38.05°E 140.85°

Wind Prospect have planning approval from the District Council of Grant for this wind farm on the coast of south-eastern South Australia between Port Macdonnell and Victorian border.

There seems little other information available. Wind Prospect had a page on Green Point, but have removed it.

In late February 2009 54 Suzlon turbines became available to AGL (for use at Hallett). It seems that these were from a third party who had cancelled an order with Suzlon. Green Point seems to be the only Australian wind farm in the pipeline with 54 turbines planned. Of course this may be no more than coincidence, the cancelled order might not even have been Australian.

 
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Updated 2012/07/08

Hallett wind farms

As of July 2012 the Hallett group, if considered to be a unit, comprised the biggest wind farm in Australia (350.7 MW installed capacity). Second biggest is Lake Bonney (SA) at 278.5 MW, third is Collgar (WA) at 206 MW and fourth Waubra (Vic) at 192 MW. (All the power from the first four stages of the Hallett group goes to a single substation before being fed into the power transmission grid.)

Not only is the Hallett group the biggest in installed capacity, it is by far the most productive wind farm in Australia, generating an average of about 134 MW. This is almost twice as much power as Waubra (in second place) which is averaging about 71 MW and Lake Bonney at 70 MW. Unfortunately generation data are not made public from WA wind farms so I can say nothing about where Collgar stands.

The individual Hallett wind farms...
NameHallett No.No. turbinesMWStatus (Feb. 2012)
Bluff Range 52552.5Operating
Brown Hill Range1 4594.5Operating
Hallett Hill 23471.4Operating
North Brown Hill 463132.3Operating
Total operating 167350.7 
Mount Bryan 33369.3'Under contract'
Total of above200 420.0 
Willogoleche Hill ???54.6Unknown

I have been informed that RPG Australia made the tower sections for the Hallett wind farms in Adelaide.

A confusing feature of the Hallett area is that:

  • Hallett Hill (the hill and the wind farm) is close to the township of Mount Bryan, much further from the township of Hallett.
  • Mount Bryan (the geographical feature and the proposed wind farm) is close to the township of Hallett, much further from the township of Mount Bryan.
See the map below. The conspicuous wind turbines along the more prominent ridges has greatly changed the appearance of the landscapes in the Hallett/Mount Bryan area.

Not only are there many high capacity turbines at Hallett, but they are very productive; up to September 2010 both Brown Hill Range and Hallett Hill had achieved capacity factors of 39 to 40%, resulting in the Hallett wind farms generating more power than any other in Australia. 40% is exceptionally high for any wind farm and it is at least partly due to the very high quality of the wind resource in the area.

 

Community funding

AGL provide $15 000 per year for each of the Hallett wind farms numbers 1, 2, 4 and 5; if number 3 (Mount Bryan) is approved AGL have promised $30 000 per year for it.
Hallett is also ideal for wind farm development because of excess capacity in the electricity transmission line that passes through the area – it was built in the expectation of further development of coal-fired power in Port Augusta that never happened – and the natural gas pipeline that is available for electricity generation to fill-in when the wind isn't blowing. (Note that, as has been the case elsewhere, the transmission lines were not built to harvest the renewable power of the wind.)

I believe that the closest occupied houses to the Hallett turbines are generally about one kilometre from the turbines.

Wind turbines on Brown Hill Range
Wind turbines on Brown Hill Range at sunrise. Booborowie Valley on the left.
Brown Hill Range is one of the Hallett wind farms.
 
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The Hallett wind farms are a group of six, five of which were originally proposed by Wind Prospect; all are in the area around Hallett and Mount Bryan, north of Burra. The sixth, North Brown Hill Wind Farm, was added later. They are all around 170 km north of Adelaide. The originally proposed five developments aimed to have an output capacity of about 320 MW produced by 160 two-megawatt turbines.

Map of some of the Hallett wind farm locations (and proposed locations)
Hallett map
Acknowledgment, AGL, April 2009
Bluff Range Wind Farm, Hallett #5, is roughly half way between #1 and #3, on the south side of the Wilkins Highway.


Estimated costs of generation for the Hallett wind farms

Costs, other than $/MWh, are in thousands of dollars
Hallett 1Hallett 2Hallett 3Hallett 4Hallett 5
Pre op. costs$232 837 $192 147$2 833 $338 922$130 000
Operations$6 750 $5 100  $9 450$3 750
Annual cost of capital$17 463 $14 411  $25 419$9 750
Total annual costs$24 213 $19 511  $34 869$13 500
Annual generation, MWh327 367 242 036242 827 463 579183 960
$/MWh$74 $81  $75$73
On this table the pre-operating and operating costs were taken from SKM's 'Hallett Economic Impact Report', I estimated the annual cost of capital at (discount rate) 7.5%, the generation is calculated from actual figures from the AEMO – as explained in power generation of wind farms for Hallett#1 and Hallett#2 – and estimated by SKM for the others. See also cost of wind power.





 
Edited 2013/06/16

Bluff Range Wind Farm
Also called The Bluff Wind farm

(One of the Hallett group, Hallett #5)
Bluff Range Wind Farm is about 10 km West of Hallett, 5 km SE of the Hallett natural gas-fired power station and 170 km north of Adelaide.

Summary data for Bluff Range Wind Farm
StatusNo. of TurbinesManufacturerModelMW each Total MWCap. Fac.CompletionLatLong
Operating25SuzlonS882.152.535%Late 2011 S 33.37°E 138.80°
The capacity factor is calculated from data recorded in the period September 2011 to December 2012, inclusive.

 
Bluff Range Wind Farm April 2011
Photo credit AGL (webcam); Camera 02, 2011/04/30
First turbine completed
 
Bluff WF construction
Construction. The tractor and prime-mover in the foreground are delivering the top section of the No. 4 tower to its site, 2011/05/25
 
Bluff WF construction
Southern section soon after tower completion, 2011/05/25
On 2012/05/14 ReCharge (writer, Oliver Wagg) announced that this wind farm had been sold to Japan's Eurus. AGL will retain rights to all large-scale generation certificates and electricity output until 2036.

The early part of the construction of this wind farm started around mid August 2010. It has 24 Suzlon S-88 V3 2.1 MW turbines (and a prototype S-97 – more below). (The S-88 is an abbreviation: the S is for Suzlon, the 88 indicates an 88m diameter.) A spokesman for AGL said that the project will create more than 120 jobs during the construction phase.

Suzlon released a newsletter 2011/06/22. The last of the S88 turbines was almost in position and the overhead lines were competed. It was expected that the wind farm would be handed over to AGL some time in December. Cleanup and remediation, including grading disturbed areas, reseeding, and final drainage modifications were underway.

A prototype S-97 turbine has been included in the project. Tim Knill – AGL, Manager Power Development – informed me (2011/06/31) that it was expected that the S-97 "will produce about 15% more energy due to [its] larger rotor".

One of two types of concrete bases or turbine footings are commonly used for wind turbines. Gravity footings rely on a large and heavy mass of concrete to hold the turbine in place, while, if suitable bedrock is present a smaller mass of concrete can be bolted to the bedrock using rock anchors. Rock anchors were used on this project.

AGL have set up 2 web cams on site and hope to make the images available to the public. I saw on the webcam that the first turbine was completed by 2011/04/30 (photo on right).

Additional data on Bluff Range Wind Farm
Turbine height80m
Max. blade tip height124m
Length of on-site access tracksAbout 9 km
Greenhouse gas (CO2) abatement161 000t per year expected
The following came to light when AGL sold the wind farm in May 2011
Total project cost$129m
EmploymentUp to 100 during construction, 4 during operation
Expected outputApproximately 159 GWh p.a.
Average wind speed7.9m/s
Effective Electricity + LGC off-take priceJuly 2012 – June 2014: $93/MWh
July 2014: $110/MWh
Development fees$30 million in FY2012

Community funding

AGL have established a Community Fund program of $15 000 per year; this is $600 per turbine per year and is indexed to the CPI. AGL's community funding is less than for several other wind farms, compare to the $50k per year community fund for the similarly sized Clements Gap Wind Farm 60 km to the west.

Infrasound testing

The South Australian Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) produced a report titled "Infrasound levels near windfarms and in other environments" in January 2013. Bluff Range was one of the wind farms that was used in the study.

 
Generation record
Generation record
Up to the end of 2011

Generation record for Bluff Range

The graph on the right shows the power generation record for Bluff Range Wind Farm as recorded by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) and downloaded via the ALG (Australian Landscape Guardians) Net site. The units are average megawatts generated month by month.
 
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Edited 2013/06/16

Brown Hill Range Wind Farm

(One of the Hallett group, Hallett #1)

Brown Hill Range summary data
StatusNo. of turbinesManufacturerModelMW each Total MWCommissionedCapacity factorLatLong
Operating45SuzlonS882.194.5June 13th 2008 40%S 33.36°E 138.71°

 
The first Hallett turbine
The first Hallett turbine; from Bundaleer forest
This was in place by March 2007, construction on the other turbines started around August.
The capacity factor above was calculated from AEMO data (July 2009 to December 2012 inclusive) and is among the best I have calculated for Australian wind farms.

This wind farm is about 15 km East of Hallett (map) and consists of 45 turbines each of 2.1 MW, it was officially commissioned on June 13th 2008, although was largely operational several months earlier. I believe that it is owned by a superannuation company and its power is being bought by AGL.

A company named Wind Prospect first proposed the farm and did initial work on assessing the wind resource and planning a possible layout.

Further data on Brown Hill Range Wind Farm
Cost of development$5.4m
Cost of construction$227.5m
Cost of first 2 years operations$10.5m

The turbines are Suzlon S-88 2.1 MW machines and the farm was constructed by Suzlon. The Suzlon parent company is based in Pune, India.

For directions to Brown Hill Range go to ExplorOz.

The cost of generating power at this wind farm are calculated on my Wind Power page.

Brendan Ryan (of Suzlon) informed me that they used Brett Lane and Associates of Melbourne for bird and bat monitoring. Lane et al apparently wrote the wind industry's 'best practice' recommendations for bird and bat monitoring.

I must express my thanks to Peter Reed and Brendan Ryan of Suzlon for their help in keeping me informed and showing me around this wind farm.

Air navigation lights

Bright air navigation lights were installed on perhaps 20 of the towers at Brown Hill Range shortly after construction. These lights were turned off around the end of 2009, and seem not likely to be turned back on.

 
Generation record
Generation record
Up to end 2012

Generation record for Brown Hill Range

The graph on the right shows the power generation record for Brown Hill Range Wind Farm as recorded by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) and downloaded via the ALG (Australian Landscape Guardians) Net site. The units are average megawatts generated month by month.

Community funding

AGL have established a Community Fund program of $15 000 per year; this is $333 per turbine per year and is indexed to the CPI.


Also see Brown Hill Range Wind Farm photos, notes on visiting. More information on the wind farm is given on the Suzlon site. A 623kB pdf file is available at "http://www.suzlon.com/images/common/AGL Hallett Wind Farm project profile.pdf".




 
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Updated 2013/06/16

Hallett Hill Wind Farm

(One of the Hallett group, Hallett #2)

Hallett Hill Wind Farm
Some of the Hallett Hill turbines with one of the few remnant sheoak (Allocasuarina stricta) trees in the foreground

Hallett Hill summary data
StatusNo. of turbinesManufacturerModelMW each Total MWCapacity factorCompletedLatLongCost
Operating 34SuzlonS882.171.441%Late 2009 S 33.55°E 138.86°$166m

The capacity factor above was calculated from AEMO data (July 2009 to December 2012 inclusive) and is among the best I have calculated for Australian wind farms.

 
Hallett Hill depot
Working on the works depot for Hallett Hill Wind Farm
2008/08/25
Hallett Hill turbines
Several turbines completed
Photographed from Clare, 40 km away
2009/04/01
A copy of AGL's location map is above; for directions to Hallett Hill go to ExplorOz.

Hallett Hill Wind Farm is about 15 km South of Hallett and a very few kilometres west of the township of Mount Bryan. It is the only farm of the Hallett group owned by ANZ (through fully-owned subsidiaries Energy Infrastructure Trust and Infrastructure Capital Group Ltd).

ABC on-line news, 2008/08/29, reported that:

"Energy company AGL has sold its wind farm near Burra in the mid-north of South Australia in a deal it says is worth $59 million. Energy Infrastructure Trust will own the Hallett Hill Wind Farm and fund the rest of the project's construction. But AGL will operate and maintain the wind farm and buy all the electricity produced."

The wind farm was constructed by Suzlon using Suzlon S-88 V3 turbines. I believe the tube sections of the towers were manufactured in Adelaide.

Turbine shut-down

AGL shut down 16 of the 34 turbines at Hallett Hill from 7pm to 7am. I only heard about this in late 2011, but AGL talk of "becoming aware of the tonality problem in December 2010" Their press release included the following...
"AGL Energy (AGL), operator of the Hallett Hill wind farm (Hallett 2) in mid-north South Australia near the township of Mt Bryan, has taken a range of steps to deal with a noise complaint at Hallett 2. During commissioning of Hallett 2, which consists of 34 x 2.1 MW wind turbines, extensive noise testing and monitoring was carried out by specialist noise consultants to determine compliance with noise guidelines. When a resident neighbouring the wind farm raised concerns about noise, AGL engaged a specialist noise consultant to assess noise conditions at the residence. During the second round of noise testing at the residence, preliminary results showed that some audible tones were detected under certain conditions. Upon becoming aware of the tonality issue in December 2010, AGL promptly shut down a number of wind turbines in proximity to the residence. Sixteen (16) of the 34 turbines are currently shut down at night. AGL has been working with the turbine supplier to rectify the defect and co-ordinate testing with the neighbouring resident. The supplier has developed a permanent acoustic treatment to address the tonality issue."
On 2012/01/05 I received the following from Adam Mackett, AGL's man in charge of Hallett Hill Wind Farm:
"The sixteen wind turbines were shutdown in late October and progressively returned to full operation after the permanent acoustic treatment was installed at each turbine."


 
Generation record
Generation record
Up to end 2012

Generation record for Hallett Hill

The graph on the right shows the power generation record for Hallett Hill Wind Farm as recorded by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) and downloaded via the ALG (Australian Landscape Guardians) Net site. The units are average megawatts generated month by month.

Air navigation lights

Bright air navigation lights were installed on a number of the towers at Hallett Hill shortly after construction. These lights were turned off around the end of 2009, and seem not likely to be turned back on.

 
Further data on Hallett Hill Wind Farm
Cost of development$3.0m
Cost of construction$189.1m
Cost of first half year's operations$3.1m
Hub height80m
Max. blade tip height124m
Swept area of each turbine0.6ha
No. truck journeys during construction1240
High tension cable for rock-anchor footings130 km
Rock trenching for 33kV reticulation17 km
Concrete used3400m3
Steel for towers5800 t
Underground cable17 km
Overhead cable10 km
Total weight of material transported to site10 350t
This information was from Suzlon and AGL

Community funding

AGL have established a Community Fund program of $15 000 per year; this is $441 per turbine per year and is indexed to the CPI.

Speech from a Mount Bryan resident

At the Lions Club in February 2013, Anita Butcher gave a speech as a part of the Youth of the Year selection process. Ms Butcher lives in Mount Bryan, 3km from the turbines of Hallett Hill Wind Farm.

 
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Updated 2012/08/21

Mount Bryan Wind Farm

(One of the Hallett group, Hallett #3)

This project has had a quite complex history in several law courts. AGL has announced (August 2012) that wind turbine technology has significantly changed since the earlier Development Application to the point where they need to cease legal activity on the old DA and submit a new one.

Summary data for Mount Bryan Wind Farm
StatusNo. of turbinesMW eachTotal MWConstruction date LatLong
Proposed33???Unknown S 33.43°E 138.96°
The details of this proposal are undecided – see note above

 
Mt Bryan area
The wind farm area; Hallett is on the left. (Google Earth)
The wind turbines are to be built on the ridge-tops on the right two-thirds of the image.
Mount Bryan Wind Farm is to be built near Mount Bryan (the hill, not the township), about 5 km East of Hallett, and about 12 km NNE of Mount Bryan township (map).

There has been some concern over a remnant stand of Eucalyptus trees (Eucalyptus globulus bicostata) in this area (April 2008). It seems that this particular stand of trees could be up to 4000 years old. Sandra Kanck (then South Australian Democrat MLC) said that the stand of trees is only 20m from one of the proposed turbines. (I believe the site of this turbine has been moved because of these trees.) While this stand of E. globulus bicostata may be the only one known in South Australia, the species is common in the Otway Ranges in Victoria.

 
General view of Mount Bryan 
area
A general view of the Mount Bryan area
The brownish area on the distant hill-side is soil bared by overgrazing
 
Damage from over-grazing
From the Heysen Trail, Mount Bryan
Soil bared by overgrazing is conspicuous in the lower half of this photo.
 
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Several people who are opposed to wind farms in the Hallett area have claimed that there will be much damage to native vegetation if the Mount Bryan Wind Farm is built; both the aerial view and two photos on the right show that there is practically no scrub right on the ridge-tops. The area has been subject to sheep grazing for well over a hundred years and the native vegetation is greatly degraded; as shown particularly in the lower photo on the right.

An email from Tim Knill of AGL Energy (12th March 2010) included the following on ecology: "there are some patches of native grass/shrubs but very few trees on the ridge tops. Any unavoidable clearance of native vegetation will require conservation set-aside areas to be established. We expect that all trees will be protected."

The Heysen Trail passes over Mount Bryan and on to Hallett (through the broader valley in the lower right of the aerial view). I walked this section of the Trail on 30th August 2010. The view on the upper right is fairly typical of the Mount Bryan range. There are more large gums in some of the lower areas, there are more shrubs on some of the hill-sides, there is more conspicuous damage from over-grazing in some areas (lower photo). I am informed by a reliable source (Millie Nicholls) that the shrubs, which are very common in the area, are Melicytus dentata, common name tree violet. These all appeared to be very heavily grazed. (I have other images of the Mount Bryan area if anyone needs them.)

Once built the wind farm will make this section of the Heysen Trail much more popular because it will present an opportunity for people to walk a dedicated walking trail close to, and among, a group of modern wind turbines. I cannot think of any comparable opportunity elsewhere. Providing this first hand experience – seeing and hearing wind turbines at close range – to many people must help educate the public on the facts of wind turbine sound levels and visual impact.

At various points along this section of the Heysen Trail there are views of the Hallett Hill Wind Farm, some seven kilometres to the SW, and the more distant Brown Hill Range wind farms to the NW.

Further data on Mount Bryan Wind Farm
Expected CO2 abatement256 000 tonnes per year
Payback time for embodied energyAbout six months
Average wind speed at hub heightAbout 9.0 metres per second
Expected capacity factor43%

Mount Bryan wind farm is expected to be one of the most productive (in proportion to its size) in Australia.




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Updated 2013/06/16

North Brown Hill Wind Farm

(One of the Hallett group, Hallett #4)

Summary data for North Brown Hill Wind Farm
StatusNo. of turbinesManufacturerModelMW each Total MWCapacity factorCompletionLatLong
Operating63SuzlonS882.1132.339%Early 2011 S 33.19°E 138.75°
The capacity factor is calculated from AEMO data for January 2011 to December 2012 inclusive. Note that fine tuning was happening during this period.

This wind farm is about 23 km from Hallett (map) and immediately north of the Brown Hill Range Wind Farm (Hallett #1). Wind Prospect has quite a detailed Net page about the project and you may find information about the project on AGL's site.

First power into the grid was 2010/08/14. As of 2010/10/20 all turbines have been fully erected, one section has been handed over to AGL and other sections were going through reliability testing and commissioning. Power fed into the national grid was still increasing, but the best so far was more than 70 MW.

 
Further data on North Brown Hill
Development cost$5.4m
Construction cost$333.5m
Turbine typeSuzlon S-88 V3 2.1 MW
Long term average wind speed8.5M/sec.
The information on this table was from AGL's Net site.
EcoGeneration, 2009/10/12 ran a news article stating that AGL had sold North Brown Hill (Hallett #4) to the Energy Infrastructure Investments consortium.

North Brown Hill will be one of the the biggest wind farm in SA and in Australia.

Ward Civil won the contract for the footings of North Brown Hill and, I believe, made rock anchor bases that are smaller than previously used in the area. I believe they took around 50 cubic metres of concrete each and are 1.4m deep rather than the 2.3m deep bases Built Environs designed ones for earlier Hallett wind farms.

AGL sold this wind farm to the Energy Infrastructure Investments consortium about October 2009.

A misty morning at North Brown Hill
Turbines in mist
The nearer turbine was operating, the others did not have enough breeze

 
Early generation
NBH generation
Generation ramping up at North Brown Hill, data to 2010/11/16
 
Generation record
NBH generation
Generation record for North Brown Hill Wind Farm
Up to end 2012

Generation record for North Brown Hill

The graphs on the right show the power generation record for North Brown Hill Wind Farm as recorded by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) and downloaded via the ALG (Australian Landscape Guardians) Net site. The upper graph shows average generation in the early period of operation. The lower graph shows average megawatts generated month by month over a longer period.

Community funding

AGL have established a Community Fund program of $15 000 per year; this is $238 per turbine per year and is indexed to the CPI.




 
Updated 2011/12/09

Willogoleche Hill wind farm

Alternatively called Willogoleche Power Wind Farm

(One of the original Hallett group proposed by Wind Prospect.)

StatusNo. of turbinesMW eachTotal MWConstruction date LatLong
Proposed372.1?About 78?Undecided S 33.41°E 138.84°

International Power has proposed building this wind farm about 5 km West of Hallett. I gather they have created a subsidiary company called Willogoleche Power to build this farm.

A post on ABC on-line news, 2011/07/14, stated that a proposed extension of from 26 turbines to 37 turbines was approved by the Goyder Council. ABC News, 2011/12/08, reported that an appeal against the increased number of turbines by six Mid-North residents had been withdrawn after an out-of-court agreement between them and the developer.

Community funding

International Power also own Canunda Wind Farm, for which they provide a small community assistance fund.
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Altered 2013/08/22

Hornsdale Wind Farm

 
Location of Hornsdale
Location plan
Image credit Investec Bank
A higher resolution map is available on the Hornsdale Net site
 

Investec looking to sell

The Wall Stree Journal carried an article 2013/08/21 stating that Investec Bank was looking for a buyer for this project.
Investec Bank (Australia) Limited is proposing this in the area between Appila, Tarcowie, Mannanarie and Jamestown, in the Mid-North of SA. At the closest point it will be about 10 km NNW of Jamestown. Investec have a Net site on the project. A map of the boundaries of the wind farm is included on the Net site.

Adelaide Now carried an article on 2012/07/06 announcing that the project had received approval from the Development Assessment Commission (in May) and from Minister John Rau (2012/07/05).

The electricity generated will go to a sub-station on site, then to the existing 275 kV power transmission line that runs through the area.

Contacts for inquiries: Email: enquiries@hornsdalewindfarm.com.au
Phone: 1800 015 398
Fax: 02 9293 2322

On the grapevine, early February 2013; Investec are working on tenders.

Community funding

I am informed that while Investec is not willing to commit to a community fund in regard to this project at present, they do have community funds operating for other projects that they have commissioned.

Summary data, Hornsdale Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Operation expectedLat.Long.
Approved1052 to 3?Up to 315 2014 or 2015S 33.05°E 138.54°
The figures above came from Investec's Net pages

Additional data on Hornsdale Wind Farm
Owner/operatorInvestec Bank (Aus) Ltd.
Project costAus$900 million
Annual generation1050 GWh expected
CO2 abated1 250 000 tonnes per annum expected
Operating life25 years expected
Turbine typeNot yet decided (Sept. 2011)
Total height150 m, to blade tip (max.)





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Updated 2013/12/08

Keyneton Wind Farm


 
Approval of this wind farm by the state government was announced on 2013/12/06. Landscape Guardian Tony Walker vows to take the approval to court.
Pacific Hydro are proposing this wind farm near the township of Keyneton which is about 65 km NE of Adelaide in the Mount Lofty Ranges.

Six landholders have agreed to host the turbines.

The wind farm will not have aviation lighting. Pacific Hydro say that "the site boundary is approximately three kilometres east of Keyneton and that it will connect to the grid via a transmission line that crosses the site.

It is expected that the turbines will be at least 1.5 km from the nearest homes. Pacific Hydro have run at least two public information sessions.

I have independent information that there isn't much remnant vegetation that will be affected. "The area has been grazed for 150 years and there isn't much left." The same source informed me that Pacific Hydro have done "a particularly good job of consulting the community".



Summary data on Keyneton Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
Approved422 to 3Up to 130 Not before 2015S 34.56°E 139.09°
There were originally 57 turbines proposed.


Community funding

Pacific Hydro are one of the more generous companies in regard to Community Funds.
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Updated 2012/02/04

Lake Bonney wind farms

In the Southeast of South Australia near Millicent, this group of wind farms follows a line of stabilised sand dunes parallel to the coast, in a NW-SE direction.

The owner was Babcock and Brown Wind Partners, more recently N.P. Power and Infigen Energy. Obtaining information on these wind farms is particularly difficult.

The individual Lake Bonney wind farms...
NameMWStatus (Dec. 2009)
Lake Bonney Stage 1 80.5Operating
Lake Bonney Stage 2 159.0Operating
Lake Bonney Stage 3 39.0Operating
Total278.5 

As of February 2012 the Lake Bonney wind farms, combined, have the second highest installed capacity of any wind farms in Australia (after the Hallett group), however, because of the poor capacity factors achieved, both the Hallett (SA) and Waubra (Vic.) wind farms generate more electricity.

All three stages connect to the transmission grid via the 132kV Mayurra substation.






 
Edited 2013/06/16

Lake Bonney Stage 1 wind farm

This farm is located on the Woakwine Range about 2 km from the eastern shore of Lake Bonney, near Millicent. For directions to Lake Bonney Wind Farm go to ExplorOz.

Summary data for Lake Bonney Stage 1
StatusNo. of turbinesManufacturerModelMW each Total MWCompletedCapacity factorLatLong
Operating46VestasV661.7580.5March 2005 26%S 37.71°E 140.38°

The capacity factor above was calculated from AEMO data (March 2009 to December 2012 inclusive) and downloaded via the ALG Net site.

Canunda/Lake Bonney wind turbines
Wind turbines of Canunda/Lake Bonney


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Lake Bonney photos, notes on visiting.

In the Australian Electricity Generation Report of 2008, available from Australian Policy Online, this wind farm is listed as the ninth largest renewable energy power station in mainland eastern Australia, and the fourth largest wind farm, by generation for 2008, generating 204 MWh.

More data on Lake Bonney Stage 1
The project
The resource
Average wind speedMore than 7m/sec. at hub height
The turbines
Turbine typeVestas V66, 1.75 MW
Diameter of rotor66m
Blade lengthApprox. 32m
Blade materialFibreglass
Tower height67m
Tower materialSteel
Much of the data in this table came from Miles George of Infigen Energy.


 
Generation record
Generation record
Up to end 2012

Generation record for Lake Bonney Stage 1

The graph on the right shows the power generation record for Lake Bonney Stage 1 Wind Farm as recorded by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) and downloaded via the ALG (Australian Landscape Guardians) Net site. The units are average megawatts generated month by month.

Community funding

An inquiry was sent to Infigen Energy 2010/09/19.
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Updated 2013/06/16

Lake Bonney Stage 2 wind farm

Owned by Infigen Energy, who had a Net page on the farm, but it's no longer available.

Lake Bonney Stage 2 summary data
StatusNo. of turbinesManufacturerModelMW each Total MWCompletedCapacity factorLatLong
Operating53VestasV903159September 2008 25%S 37.81°E 140.41°
The capacity factor above was calculated from AEMO data (August 2009 to December 2012 inclusive) and downloaded via the ALG Net site.

This wind farm commenced full commercial operation in September 2008. In the Australian Electricity Generation Report of 2008, available from Australian Policy Online, this wind farm is listed as the third largest renewable energy power station in mainland eastern Australia, and the largest wind farm, by generation for 2008, generating 373 MWh.

More data on Lake Bonney Stage 2
The Project
CostApprox. Aus$400 million
The resource
Average wind speedMore than 7m/sec. at hub height
The turbines
Turbine typeVestas V90 3 MW
Tower height, to hub78m
Tower materialSteel
Rotor diameter90m
Blade lengthApprox. 44m
Blade materialFibreglass
Much of the data in this table came from Miles George of Infigen Energy.


 
Generation record
Generation record
Up to end 2012

Generation record for Lake Bonney Stage 2

The graph on the right shows the power generation record for Lake Bonney Stage 2 Wind Farm as recorded by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) and downloaded via the ALG (Australian Landscape Guardians) Net site. The units are average megawatts generated month by month.
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Edited 2013/06/16

Lake Bonney Stage 3 Wind Farm

This stage is, like the other two, close to Lake Bonney and is owned by Infigen Energy (who have taken over the business of the old Babcock and Brown Wind Partners).

While Infigen seem not to have a Net page on this project, Aurecon do.

Lake Bonney Stage 2 summary data
StatusNo. of turbinesManufacturerModelMW each Total MWCompletedCapacity factorLatLong
Operating13VestasV90339December 2009 26%S ?°E ?°
The capacity factor was calculated from AEMO data for the period from August 2010 to December 2012 inclusive.

The turbines are Vestas V90 models, 3 MW each.
 
Generation record
Generation record
Up to end 2012

Generation record for Lake Bonney Stage 3

The graph on the right shows the power generation record for Lake Bonney Stage 3 Wind Farm as recorded by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) and downloaded via the ALG (Australian Landscape Guardians) Net site. The units are average megawatts generated month by month.





 
Updated 2013/06/25

Lincoln Gap Wind Farm

Also called Port Augusta Wind Farm

On 2013/06/25 the project company for the Lincoln Gap wind farm is Lincoln Gap Wind Farm Pty. Ltd.; it is a 100% owned subsidiary of OneWind. OneWind Australia has a Net page dedicated to this project. Some of the data in this section was extracted from the OneWind Net page.

Summary data for Lincoln Gap
StatusNo. of turbinesMW eachTotal MWConstruction date LatLong
Approved59up to 3MW177?Unknown S 32.53°E 137.56°
The coordinates above were based on the location on the OneWind Net page


On 2013/05/09 Clean Technica reported that Denham Capital Management had invested in several Australian wind farms, including this one.





 
Updated 2011/04/02

Myponga/Sellicks Hill wind farm

Trust Power proposed this wind farm to be built south of Sellicks beach and north of Myponga, near Mount Terrible and Mount Jeffcott, on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Trust Power's Net site seems not to have been updated for a long time.

Summary data
StatusNo. of turbinesMW eachTotal MWConstruction date LatLong
Approved162.1?33.6?Unknown S 35.38°E 138.44°

Shortly after it being reported that construction would start in early 2010 the South Australian Government announced that it has refused to vary major development approval of the wind farm (Trust Power wanted to build taller towers, 110m high). Subsequently Trust Power stated they would drop the project. This all happened in late August, early September 2009.

In January 2011 SA Planning Minister Paul Holloway said that it is no longer appropriate to grant further extension of the development approval.

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Edited 2013/06/16

Mount Millar wind farm

Owned by Meridian Power of New Zealand, an interesting article can be found on the Eyre Peninsula Tribune site. (Mount Millar Wind Farm was developed by Tarong, then sold to Transfield, and passed to Meridian in May 2010.)

Mount Millar summary data
StatusNo. of turbinesManufacturerModelMW each Total MWCompletedCapacity factorLatLong
Operating35EnerconE70270December 2005 30%S 33.63°E 136.68°
The capacity factor above was taken from AEMO data via the ALG Net pages and uses data from January 2009 to December 2012 inclusive.

One of the Mount Millar wind turbines
One of the Mount Millar wind turbines near Cowell and Cleve, South Australia; at sunset
Mount Millar is a 70 MW wind farm in the Cowell-Cleve area of Eyre Peninsula, about 220 km NW of Adelaide, as the crow flies. For directions to Mount Millar go to ExplorOz.

This wind farm was previously called Yabmana. It is built along seven kilometres of hill-top roughly between Cowell and Cleve. (It is sign-posted from the Cowell-Cleve road.)

The Eyre Peninsula Tribune, on 14th March 2006, stated that construction of this wind farm started in late 2004 and was completed in December 2005. Power started being generated on February 28th 2006.

This is an interesting and scenic wind farm to visit. Most of the turbines are quite close to a public road along a ridge top with good views over Spencer Gulf.
One of the Mount Millar wind turbines
Some of the Mount Millar wind turbines; late afternoon
You can see more photos of Mount Millar Wind Farm.

More data on Mount Millar Wind Farm
Project costAust$130 million
Footings
Footing typeMass
Mass footing rely on their weight to hold the turbine in place,
rather than the alternative of bolting them to the bedrock.
Footing diameter20m
Material in footings40 tonnes of steel and 800t of concrete.
Turbines
Turbine typeEnercon E70
GearingNo gearbox, direct drive, see below
Tower height, to hub85m
Total height to blade tip120m

 
Generation record
Generation record
Up to end 2012

Generation record for Mount Millar

The graph on the right shows the power generation record for Mount Millar Wind Farm as recorded by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) and downloaded via the ALG (Australian Landscape Guardians) Net site. The units are average megawatts generated month by month.

Community funding

I sent an inquiry to Meridian on 2010/10/10, received a reply on 2010/10/29, but no mention of whether Meridian provides money for a community fund for the Mount Millar community.



Annular generator

The Mount Millar Wind Farm is different to other SA wind farms in that the turbines do not have gear boxes; this, presumably, is why the nacelle of these turbines has a larger diameter than most. A quote from the manufacturer, Enercon...
"The annular generator is of primary importance in the gearless system design of ENERCON wind turbines. Combined with the rotor hub it provides an almost frictionless flow of energy, while the gentle running of fewer moving components guarantees minimal material wear. Unlike conventional asynchronous generators, the ENERCON annular generator is subjected to minimal mechanical wear, which makes it ideal for particularly heavy demands and a long service life.

The ENERCON annular generator is a low-speed synchronous generator with no direct grid coupling. The output voltage and frequency vary with the speed and are converted for output to the grid by a DC link and inverter. This achieves a high degree of speed variability."

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Edited 2014/04/17

Palmer Wind Farm

 
Palmer Wind Farm; possible turbine layout
Palmer WF map
Map credit Trust Power
This wind farm, proposed by Trust Power, if built, will extend from south-west of Cambrai 30km southward along the ridge lines of the eastern Mount Lofty Ranges to a point south-west of Palmer. Trust Power has a Net page about the project. Trust Power runs the highly successful Snowtown Wind Farm and is currently (September 2013) building a second stage there.

Trust Power lodged the development application with the Mid Murray Council on 2014/02/28.

Summary data, Palmer Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
Planning application lodged1143About 342 2015?Approx. S 34.77°E 139.19°

Additional data on Palmer Wind Farm
Owner/operatorTrust Power
Capital cost$700m?
Total height (to blade tip)165m
No. employed during construction250 to 300
No. employed during operationAbout 15
Annual generation1050 GWh (assuming CF=35%)
CO2 abatedAbout a million tonnes per year

 

The controversy

The Palmer Wind Farm has brought out some vociferous opposition. I have written a page of commentary on some of the allegations against the projects and have started a page on Facebook aimed at open debate.
The information above was extracted mainly from the Trust Power Net pages.

It seems there is some level of local opposition. The people of Snowtown, where the first stage wind farm was completed in 2008, seem very happy with their wind farm. It is notable that early wind farms were built in SA with very little opposition and continue to receive local approval, while newly proposed wind farms raise objections. No doubt this is largely due to successful disinformation campaigns by wind power opposition groups and individuals.

More equible financial benefit?

The Barossa Herald carried an article on 2013/12/17 in which they reported that Trust Power were proposing to give a direct benefit to neighbours of the wind farm.
"It will comprise of annual payments based on a sliding scale, with a minimum of $2000 per annum, depending on the number of turbines ultimately constructed within 1km of a property boundary or 2km of a residence should the project go ahead."
It will be interesting to see what happens here, what effect the proposal might have on the acceptance of the wind farm by neighbours, and whether it will be picked up by other wind farm operators.

It has been suggested that some sort of gift of shares in the project would be preferable to cash payouts as it would give the receiver an interest in the running and profitability of the wind farm.

Gag clause

Anyone receiving the neighbours payment from Trust Power will have to sign a contract which includes agreeing to not make any objection "to any Wind Farm operations whatsoever". This is unethical in that it is against the very important principle of the freedom of speech, and I strongly suspect that as it becomes known it will prove to be counterproductive.

I believe that the same clause is in the agreements signed by the turbine-hosting landholders.

If the gag clause stands, and as it becomes more widely known, it will certainly damage the reputation of the wind power industry.

I have written more about gag clauses in contracts and ethics elsewhere on these pages. Ethics is of fundamental importance, it is the priciples of ethics that compels me to write these pages.






 
This section written 2010/01/14

Robe Wind Farm

(Wind farm name uncertain)

This proposed wind farm is interesting for it's large size and the fact that the proposal came from a group of 30 farmers who recognised the potential on their land. Michael McCourt, of Beachport, is heading the project on behalf of the farmers.

The agreement by Macquarie Capital Group Ltd. to take "responsibility for all of the ongoing development activities for the proposed wind farm" (reported in Border Watch, 2009/12/22) is very significant because it indicates that financial backing has been obtained; always a hugely important mile-stone for any wind farm development.

Summary data for Robe Wind Farm
StatusNo. of turbinesMW eachTotal MW Completion dueLatLong
Proposed??600Undecided Approx. S 37.11°E 139.80°

The wind farm is to be built on the Woakwine Range between Beachport and Mount Benson. Beachport is 78 km NW of Mount Gambier, Mount Benson is about 60 km NNW of Beachport.

I suspect that substantial upgrading of the power transmission system will be needed before the project can proceed.

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Updated 2014/04/16

Robertstown Wind Farm

StatusNo. of turbinesMW eachTotal MW Completion dueLatLong
Abandoned30 to 353?90 to 105?- Approx. 33.99°139.10°

 
Robertstown, Stony Gap, and Waterloo Wind Farm locations
Map
Image from Roaring 40s

Energy Australia decided that a wind farm on this site would be unviable, and announced that on 2014/04/14. Several reasons have been given by EA and others. I will not speculate.

Robertstown is 50 km ESE of Clare, 21 km north of Eudunda, and 110 km NNE of Adelaide; the wind farm is about 6 km west of the Robertstown township. The proponent was originally Tasmania-based Roaring 40s, but when this was disbanded it was transferred to Energy Australia.

It was earlier reported that this and Stony Gap Wind Farm were to be extensions of Waterloo Wind Farm, but in fact Energy Australia are treating all three as separate projects.

In early 2012 Energy Australia, under its older name, TRUenergy, released a locally conducted opinion survey concerning its existing and proposed Mid-North wind farms. More detail under links.

Community Liaison Group

Energy Australia have established a Community Liaison Group concerning its three Mid-North wind farms. The group meets every second month and brings together many interested local people with TRUenergy staff and experts in various fields relevant to wind power. (I, David Clarke, the author of these pages, am a member of the group.)

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Edited 2013/06/16

Snowtown Wind Farm

This wind farm is on the top of the north-south trending Barunga Range west and north-west of Snowtown and about 150 km north of Adelaide. The closest turbines are around seven kilometres from the town. For directions to Snowtown go to ExplorOz.

So far as I know, there has never been any local opposition to this project, and as mentioned below, the people of Snowtown and district seem very happy with their local wind farm. (I live fifty kilometres away.)

A company named Wind Prospect originally proposed up to 105 wind turbines each of 2 MW. When the first stage was built there were 47 turbines, a prototype S95 was added in July 2011; a major extension is under construction; see Snowtown Stage 2.

Snowtown Stage 1 summary data
StatusNo. of turbinesManufacturerModelMW each Total MWFirst power
to grid
CompletedCapacity factor LatLong
Operating48SuzlonS88 2.1100.8March 2008Early September 2008 41%S 33.75°E 138.13°
The S95 turbine added in July 2011 increased the installed capacity from 98.7 MW.
The capacity factor was calculated from AEMO data from July 2009 to December 2012 inclusive, is the best I have calculated for any Australian wind farm (as of December 2012) and is very good by world standards. It takes into account the 48th turbine added in July 2011. (The average capacity factor for south-eastern Australian wind farms is about 35%.)

First turbine at Snowtown
The first turbine of the Snowtown Wind Farm
2007/12/28

Additional data on Snowtown Wind Farm
OwnerTrust Power Ltd.
OperatorSuzlon
Project costAust$220 million
Expected output350 GWh/yr
Greenhouse gas savings345 000t/yr
Turbine type47 Suzlon S88-2.1 MW
1 Suzlon S95-2.1 MW
Tower height (to hub)80m
Height to blade tip124m
Rotational speed15 to 17.6RPM
Rotor diameter88m
Speed at blade tip69 to 81m/sec. or 249 to 292 km/hr

 
Turbine and fog
Fog streaming between turbines at Snowtown Wind Farm
2008/05/05

While Trust Power own this wind farm, the Indian based company Suzlon built it, operate it and maintain the turbines.

The contract calls for a minimum availability of 97%; that is, as I understand it, total turbine/hours of downtime must be no more than 3% of the total turbine/hours in a year.

The wind farm started feeding power into the grid in December 2007 and was officially opened on 2nd November 2008. In the Australian Electricity Generation Report of 2008, available from Australian Policy Online, this wind farm is listed as the eleventh largest renewable energy power station in mainland eastern Australia, and the fifth largest wind farm, by generation for 2008, generating 195 MWh.

Some of my photos of Snowtown Wind Farm are on another page.

Air navigation lights

Snowtown Wind Farm had air navigation lights on about 40% of its turbines from the time it was built. The lights are finally to be turned off progressively through August and September, 2011 (according to an article in the Yorke Peninsula Country Times, 2011/08/09). I noticed on 2012/03/01 that they were no longer on.

 
Suzlon S95 prototype turbine under construction
Prototype



The photo on the right was taken on 2011/06/28 of the construction of the Suzlon S95 prototype turbine. It was operating a month or so later.

Community funding

Trust Power are not generous with community funding, providing $15 000 per year or $313 per turbine per year (less than any other wind farm I know of other than Canunda in SE SA).

Phil Barry, CEO of Wakefield Regional Council informed me that Trust Power was the majority funder of the wind farm tourist information display at Snowtown and that the total project value was about $120 000.

 
Generation record
Generation record
Up to end 2012

Generation record for Snowtown

The graph on the right shows the power generation record for Snowtown Wind Farm as recorded by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) and downloaded via the ALG (Australian Landscape Guardians) Net site. The units are average megawatts generated month by month.

The output of Snowtown Wind Farm is expected to decline by 19GWh/year (4.9%) following construction of Snowtown 2 due to wind shading.

Powering TREV around the world

The developers of TREV (Two-seat Renewable Energy Vehicle) bought power from the Snowtown Wind Farm to power TREV on a 'Race around the World'. TREV was expected to use 2.1 MWh of electricity in total; that is one hour's generation from one of the Snowtown turbines at full power.

The Snowtown people are proud of their wind farm

 
Sign on the highway at Snowtown
Snowtown sign
The people of Snowtown, so far as I know, have always been very supportive of their wind farm. And they have good reason to be.

Snowtown is a small town, it is home to about 400 people, but it is doing far more than its share in the fight against out-of-control climate change.

Snowtown Wind Farm is abating around 345 000 tonnes of greenhouse carbon dioxide each year. The Garnaut report showed that Australia's CO2 emissions were 28 tonnes per person in 2006, so the Snowtown wind farm is abating the emissions from around twelve thousand Australians! A praise-worthy achievement for a small town.
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Snowtown Wind Farm, Stage 2

The completed Snowtown Wind Farm, first and second stages; 2014/06/11
Snowtown 1 + 2
Click on the image to view full size; use your browser's back arrow to come back to this page after viewing.

 

2014/06/26

  • 90 turbines fully erected
  • 89 turbines in production
  • No figure for No. turbines handed over
 

Opening ceremony

A November 2nd date is envisioned for an opening ceremony
Trust Power has a Net page for Snowtown Stage 2. Weekly progress reports are given. The expected capital cost is Aus$439 million.

At the end of 2012 total installed wind power in Australia was 2576MW. This project alone will increase that amount by more than 10%. It will increase the amount of installed capacity in SA by 22% (from 1205 to 1495MW) and in Mid-North SA by 44% (from 619 to 889MW).

There has been an unconfirmed report that landholders are to be paid a total of $2.4 million per year. This is $26 666 per year per turbine and if true is much higher than I have heard of for other wind farms. Trust Power will not confirm it, stating that it is confidential.

An idea of the scale of the job of transporting the tubine parts to the wind farm site was given by the statement that "If you laid out the rotor blades alone end to end they would form a road train about 13 kilometers long."

Combined with Snowtown Stage 1, this wind farm will save 700 000 tonnes of greenhouse CO2 per year.

Snowtown Stage 2 summary data
StatusNo. of turbinesManufacturerModelMW each Total MWConstruction startingCommissioning
Under construction90Siemens10×S101
80×S108
3270 August 2012End of 2014
When Snowtown Stage 2 is built the total installed power of the Snowtown wind farms will be 371 MW, making it the biggest in SA, at least until Hallett #3 is built.

Development callendar for Snowtown 2
Development calendar
Acknowledgement Trust Power

The Siemens turbines are direct drive (no gearbox) with a perminant magnet generator, 10 turbines have a rotor diameter of 101m and the remaining 80 have a rotor of 108m diameter (bigger than any in previously built in SA). The turbines with the smaller rotors are in the areas with stronger or more turbulent winds.

 

Shut-down wind speed

An ABC article mentioned that the turbines shut-down when the wind speed reaches about 27 metres per second and switch back on again when it drops to 22m/s. This may or may not be accurate.
Clayton Delmarter of Trust Power informed me on 2012/08/06 that "we didn't have a single submission against the project when we submitted our planning variations and have enjoyed great support from the community". At the sod-turning ceremony, 2012/10/25, Mayor of Wakefield Plains Council, James Maitland, said that he "was not aware of any negativity" regarding the project. This contrasts strongly with strong local opposition to several other wind farms in Mid North SA.

Trust Power ran a media release 2012/05/02 that said, among other things:

"Trust Power has entered into a power sale and purchase agreement for the output of Snowtown II with Origin Energy, which already has a purchase agreement for 89% of the Snowtown 1 facility. The Snowtown II Wind Farm, as the expansion will be known, will be located adjacent to the existing Snowtown 1 facility and comprise 90 turbines with an installed capacity of 270MW. The 3MW turbines for the expansion will be supplied by Siemens. It is intended that Snowtown Stage 2 will be split into two separately metered wind farms, 144MW which will be owned by Trust Power and 126MW by a co-investor. Trust Power will be the operator for the total Snowtown wind farm site under a long term management services arrangement. Trust Power is currently running a targeted selection process to identify a co-investor and hopes to make an announcement within the next few months."
The new turbines will mainly go into three areas:
  1. Most will be on the highest ridges and spurs to the east of the present turbines;
  2. Around 35 will be south of the southernmost of the present turbines;
  3. About ten will fill in the gap between the two present groups.
So, when built, it will not be possible for the casual observer to see where Stage 1 finishes and Stage 2 starts.

Findata, 2012/07/26, printed a release by Vince Hawksworth of Trust Power: Snowtown 2 "will consist of two separately metered wind farms, Snowtown 2 North (144MW) and Snowtown 2 South (126 MW), sharing a single transmission line owned by Trust Power".

Expected output of Snowtown 2
GWh/yearCap. Factor
Snowtown 2 North50440.0%
Snowtown 2 South48143.6%
Total Snowtown 298541.7%
The Findata article went on to state:

"The construction of Snowtown 2 North is expected to reduce the long term annual expected output of the existing 100MW Snowtown Stage 1 wind farm by around 19 GWh (4.9%) due to wind shading caused by the new turbines to be built on the Snowtown 2 North site. Consequently, Snowtown Stage 1 wind farm's forecast long term capacity will reduce to around 41.9% from 44.1%."
(My figure for the capacity factor for Snowtown 1 is 41%.)

Snowtown 1 plus Snowtown 2 will have a combined installed capacity of 370.8MW, making it the second biggest in Australia, following Macarthur at 420 (due for completion in early 2013). The Hallett group (operating) is close behind at 351MW.

The cost of wind power with particular reference to Snowtown Stages 1 and 2 is discussed under cost of wind power.

For email to Trust Power try jim.pearson@trustpower.co.nz, clayton.delmarter@trustpower.co.nz or rodney.ahern@trustpower.co.nz.

Community funding

Trust Power are not generouse with community funding, intending to provide $45 000 per year in total for the two stages of Snowtown. This works out at $326 per turbine per year (less than any other wind farm I know of other than Canunda in SE SA).


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Edited 2014/04/02

Starfish Hill Wind Farm

This was owned by Transfield Infrastructure Fund, but all their wind farms were taken over by Ratch Australia Corporation.

Starfish Hill turbines
Some of the Starfish Hill turbines viewed from Cape Jervis

Starfish Hill summary data
StatusNo. of turbinesManufacturerModelMW each Total MWCommissionedCapacity factorLatLong
Operating22NEG MiconNM641.533September 2003 27%S 35.57°E 138.16°
The capacity factor figure above was taken from AEMO data for June 2008 to December 2012 inclusive and based on the original 23 turbines.
(One was destroyed by fire on 2010/10/30.)


Wind turbines at Starfish Hill, Fleurieu Peninsula
Wind turbines silhouetted against the sea at Starfish Hill, Fleurieu Peninsula
This was the first wind farm in South Australia.

It is located across two hills south of Rapid Bay, Starfish Hill and Salt Creek Hill, with 8 turbines on Starfish Hill and 15 on Salt Creek Hill. For directions to Starfish Hill go to ExplorOz.

Further data on Starfish Hill Wind Farm
Project costAust$65 million
Annual productionApprox. 100 GWh
Turbine makeNeg Micon (now Vestas)
Height to turbine hub68m
Height to blade tip100m
Rotor diameter64m

An interesting feature of this wind farm is that the tips of the turbine blades can be rotated independently of the remainder of the blade. This can be used to stop the turbines when needed.

Also on this Net site: Starfish Hill photos, notes on visiting.

 
Generation record
Generation record
Up to end 2012
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Generation record for Starfish Hill

The graph on the right shows the power generation record for Starfish Hill Wind Farm as recorded by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) and downloaded via the ALG (Australian Landscape Guardians) Net site. The units are average megawatts generated month by month.

Observations

When I visited on 2007/03/14 two turbines on Starfish Hill were out of action; all others were operational. I noticed in late January 2009 that three turbines, again on Starfish Hill, were not working; all the others were. This wind farm seems to have serious problems.

Some of the turbines made a strange sound when rotating slowly. After a time I concluded that the turbine blades must be hollow and partly filled with water which cascaded backward and forward as the turbines rotated. When they rotated at full speed the centrifugal force must have been sufficient to keep the water at the far end of the blades and stop the cascading. I have since been informed that it is unlikely that there could be water in the blades, but have heard no other explanation for the strange sound.

 
Turbine fire
The fire of 2010/10/30
Image credit Fleurieu Multimedia

Fire in turbine

There was a fire in one of the Starfish Hill turbines on the afternoon of 2010/10/30. This was written up in an article in the Victor Harbor Times on 2010/11/04. The fire caused an estimated $3m damages.

It seems that this turbine was dismantled and not replaced following the fire.


Wind turbines at Starfish Hill, SA.
Wind turbines at Starfish Hill, Cape Jervis, South Australia
This was the first South Australian wind farm.






 
Updated 2013/08/01

Stony Gap Wind Farm

Stony Gap is about 28 km east of Clare, 13 km east of Farrell Flat, and 126 km NNE of Adelaide. A location map is in the notes on the Robertstown Wind Farm.

Energy Australia has a Net page on the project.

Summary data from Stony Gap Wind Farm
StatusNo. of turbinesMW eachTotal MW ConstructionLatLong
Development application lodged413?Up to 123 First half of 2013? 33.81°138.93°

 

Development Assessment Panel refuses permission

On 2012/08/01 a DAP refused permission for the project on the grounds of health related to noise – in spite there being no scientifically valid evidence for damage to health from wind turbines, there being no evidence that wind turbines produce unreasonable levels of noise and the fact that wind power saves lives and reduces the numbers of serious illnesses caused by air pollution from coal fired power stations. The decision was popular with the audience at the hearing, but went against utilitarian (the greatest good for the greatest number) and probably any other ethical principles.

Further developments

On 2013/08/01 it was announced that Goyder Council had withdrawn from the Stony Gap appeal case and had accepted an alternate proposal by Energy Australia. Three local residents with objections to the plan are still involved with the hearing. (ABC On-line news)
The project was started by Roaring 40s who held a community information session on this wind farm at the Burra Town hall on 2009/12/03. Since then, Roaring 40s was broken up and the Stony Gap WF project was taken over by TRUenergy.

In early 2012 TRUenergy released a locally conducted opinion survey concerning its existing and proposed Mid-North wind farms. More detail under links.

This wind farm and the nearby Waterloo Wind Farm seem to have raised a more organised than usual opposition.

Community Liaison Group

TRUenergy have established a Community Liaison Group concerning its three Mid-North wind farms. The group meets every second month and brings together many interested local people with TRUenergy staff and experts in various fields relevant to wind power. (I, David Clarke, the author of these pages, am a member of the group.)
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Updated 2010/05/19

Vincent North Wind Farm

also known as Sheoak Flat Wind Farm

StatusNo. of turbinesMWTotal MWConstruction date LatLong
Proposed361.6559.4Undecided Approx. S 34.71°E 137.88°

This project was proposed by Pacific Hydro and was to be at Sheoak Flat between Port Julia and Port Vincent on Yorke Peninsula. The company obtained planning permission for the wind farm. On May 19th 2010 several newspapers reported that Pacific Hydro had decided to allow planning consent to lapse.

Quoting from the Yorke Peninsula Country Times, 2008/04/15, "Currently the 132kv [power transmission] line serving Yorke Peninsula is at capacity and, until the capacity constraints are resolved and the electricity transmission infrastructure upgraded, this project and others like it are likely to remain on hold." Note that this same problem has stopped the development of Wattle Point Stage 2 wind farm. The SA Government talks big on sustainable energy, but does much less.

Further information on Vincent North Wind Farm...
The project
Output GWh/yearGreater than 140
Greenhouse gas savingEstimated 145 000t/yr
Project costAus$100 million

The information in this table came from Pacific Hydro.
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Edited 2013/12/02

Waterloo Wind Farm

 
Construction buildings
Temporary construction buildings at Waterloo Wind Farm; beginning of electrical control yard on left. 2010/02/12

 
Waterloo ridge
The ridge before the turbines were erected
Photo taken 2008/01/17
Some (the first?) power from the Waterloo turbines was fed into the grid on 2010/08/23 at 1100 hours. By 2010/10/03 all the turbines were generating. Waterloo Wind Farm was accepted by the EPA as fully compliant on 2011/11/22.

 
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The township of Waterloo is 39 km south-east of Clare, 20 km ENE of Auburn and 110 km NNE of Adelaide. Waterloo Wind Farm is one of the biggest in Australia in terms of installed capacity. A location map is in the notes on the Robertstown Wind Farm.

Waterloo was constructed by Tasmania-based Roaring 40s at a cost in excess of $300m. In April 2011 it was passed to TRUenergy, who later changed their name to Energy Australia. On 2013/05/14 Peter Hannam in the Sydney Morning Herald reported that EA has passed three-quarters of its holding "to infrastructure investment specialists, Palisade Investment Partners and Northleaf Capital Partners. The company will continue to buy power from the project and manage its operations after the sale".

The wind farm uses Vestas Wind Systems V90-3.0 MW turbines. (The V90 is an abbreviation: V for Vestas and the 90 indicates a 90m diameter for the swept circle of the turbine blades.)

On 2010/08/19 Dijana Jevremov of Roaring 40s informed me that the closest turbine to a residence at Waterloo Wind Farm is "at or near to 2 km away".

Waterloo (Stage 1) summary data
StatusNo. of turbinesManufacturerModelMW each Total MWCapacity factorCompletionLatLong
Operating37VestasV90311132%October 2010 Approx. 33.98°138.92°
The capacity factor was calculated from AEMO data for October 2010 to December 2012 inclusive.

 
Crane and towers
Photo taken 2010/06/24
The 690-tonne crane is in place to add the top sections to the part-tower.

As can be seen, there are quite a few native trees on this ridge, it is a pity that a number had to be removed. Roaring 40s have an off-set arrangement with the Native Vegetation Council in which $800 000 will be paid toward revegetation and conservation programs. They are also using sterile rye grass and seven local native grass species to cover areas disturbed during construction.

Further data on Waterloo Wind Farm
Turbines
Turbine typeVestas V90 3 MW
Tower height80m
Blade length44m
Weight of each blade6.7t
Tower weight145t
Nacelle weight70t
Hub and nose cone weight22t
Foundations
Concrete used360 cubic m each
Steel reo used30t each
Total weight910t each
Cables
Buried aluminium28 km
Buried optical fibre28 km


 
Waterloo turbines
Waterloo turbines; colours altered digitally
Roaring 40s erected a wind monitoring tower in 2002 to investigate the wind potential of the site.

The turbines are along the top of a well defined sharp ridge running parallel to, and four kilometres west of, Tothill Range. The point specified by latitude and longitude in the table above is in the approximate centre of the wind farm and is about 3.5 km east of Waterloo. Waterloo is about 30 km SE of Clare.

An interesting point about this wind farm is that the turbines are 43% bigger than most of those previously constructed in northern South Australia; ie. 3 MW rather than 2.1 MW. (3 MW turbines have also been used at Lake Bonney Stage 3 Wind Farm.)

On the grape vine: The quartzite rock on the ridge is so hard that it has to be blasted before footings can be built. However, it is generally too fractured for rock anchors to be used, so the footings are of the heavy gravity type.

The SA EPA found the Waterloo Wind Farm to be compliant with state wind farm permissible noise levels in late 2011.

Energy Australia are working toward two other wind farms in the area, Stony Gap and Robertstown.

In early 2012 Energy Australia released a locally conducted opinion survey concerning its existing and proposed Mid-North wind farms. More detail under links.

Community Liaison Group

TRUenergy have established a Community Liaison Group concerning its three Mid-North wind farms. The group meets every two or three months and brings together a number of interested local people with Energy Australia staff and experts in various fields relevant to wind power. (I, David Clarke, the author of these pages, am a member of the group.)
 
Generation record
Generation record
Up to end 2012

Generation record for Waterloo

The graph on the right shows the power generation record for Waterloo Wind Farm as recorded by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) and downloaded via the ALG (Australian Landscape Guardians) Net site. The units are average megawatts generated month by month.

Community funding

I will quote an email kindly sent by Sarah Stent, Corporate Affairs Manager, Energy Australia:
"In the past year, allocation by Waterloo wind farm to community has been driven by strategic partnerships, rather than via a 'Community Fund'. This included major contributions of;
  • $27,000 for the Community Information Shelter at Waterloo;
  • $7,500 for the CFS to purchase a generator;
  • $17,500 for Clare races event;
  • $12,500 to the CSIRO study of social licence.
In addition, there was support of smaller events such as the Saddleworth Christmas party (approx 1-2k) and the ($4k) Swimming Australia learn to Swim classes at the Clare pool.

This year, funding will be predominantly allocated via the Community Fund – $20,000 over the year. Further to this we plan to allocate $5,000 funding to the set up and development of community bus tours of Waterloo and the training of a tour guide. There is then also the Retail Offer which is now available to all residents and businesses in the region, offering a 14% discount. We support the lodgement of a grant for the SEB grant. We will also look to host an open day later in the year.

Funding for the ongoing CLG will continue as will community advertising to ensure wider community is aware of our actions and priorities. If the CSIRO study is reinvigorated, we may also extend further funding to this."
So, the total for the year listed above is $64 500. This is $1740 per turbine, well above the average for SE Australia (around $1000). Excluding the $12 500 for the CSIRO funding, which did not go to the local community, the total was $52 000, or $1405 per turbine for the year; still well above average.
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Waterloo stage 2

Energy Australia are working toward a second stage that will add six turbines (18 MW additional installed capacity) at the southern end of the existing farm, from Steelton Road. This was given approval by the Clare and Gilbert Valley Council in mid June 2013.

Waterloo has seen a particularly high level of opposition

 
A wind farm opponent, Michael Cobb, wrote a litterally incredible piece about Waterloo Wind Farm in the Blayney Chronicle on 2012/11/01. He claimed he was unable to talk to wind farm hosts because of 'gag clauses'; this is quite false – I have talked quite freely to a Waterloo turbine host a number of times. Ketan Joshi wrote a reply to Cobb's piece on 2012/11/25.
A Michael Cobb has been found guilty of fraud and fined $14 000; more on this in Joshi's piece, above. I cannot be sure that it is this Michael Cobb, but it seems likely. It is relevant and fair to mention it here because it bares on Mr Cobb's honesty and credibility.
There seems to have been a more emotional reaction to the Waterloo Wind Farm than to most others, but perhaps it is simply that the opposition in this area is more organised and vocal than elsewhere. I believe that most of the activity is coming from a small group of six or so people. (There have only been five formal complaints sent to Energy Australia about the wind farm.)

It has been claimed that several houses have been abandoned at Waterloo due to the wind farm. However, evidence given at the hearing in Clare of the SA Parliamentary Committee Inquiry into Wind Farms, suggests that the houses may well have been vacated due to loss of employment at the local quarry.

The email below was sent by one of the opponents of the Waterloo Wind farm and seems to be encouraging people to lie about loss of sleep and illnesses caused by Waterloo Wind Farm. (I originally did not give the name of the sender, but when it was published in Adelaide Now I saw no reason to not include it here.)

Invitation to lie?

"From: Mary Morris
Sent: Wednesday, 5 September 2012 12:44 PM
Subject: URGENT AND IMPORTANT - SEND NOISE /HEALTH COMPLAINTS TO CLARE AND GOYDER COUNCIL

GOYDER COUNCIL SAYS IT HAS RECEIVED NO WRITTEN NOISE OR HEALTH COMPLAINTS REGARDING THE WATERLOO WIND FARM.

They have the power to shut the wind farm down and get the noise nuisance investigated.

LETS DO IT!!!

Please send in a written complaint to both the Goyder Council and Clare Council

All it has to be is a simple letter stating that the noise and vibration is causing a serious disturbance to sleep and rest, and/or that people are becoming sick – mention elderly and frail people AND children as well especially if this applies to you.

If you have already sent in a letter, send again with a cover note that you wish your submission to be considered as a formal complaint about the effects of the Waterloo wind farm.

Goyder council@goyder.sa.gov.au

Clare and Gilbert Valley admin@cgvc.sa.gov.au

Need help?? Let me know"

Mary Morris was inteviewed on radio in regard to a night spent beneath the Waterloo turbines by SA Greens MP Mark Parnell. She said on this program that she lives 17km from the turbines, but when her children get headaches and earaches she blames them on the turbines.

Two surveys

 

Zhenhua Wang's survey

Professor Mike Brooks, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), University of Adelaide distanced the university from Mr Wang's work, saying that Mr Wang did the work in his own time and not for the University. I emailed Mr Wang (2012/03/01) asking for more information on his survey; I did not receive a reply. It is curious that Mr Wang's research seems to have been made available to anti-wind people:
  • WindWatch, a Net based anti-wind power group;
  • a member of the Mid North Wind Farm Liason Group who strongly opposes local wind farms;
  • and Graham Lloyd of The Australian;
but not to me, nor any other pro-wind power people who I know of.
A survey done by a masters candidate at Adelaide University, Zhenhua (Frank) Wang, sought responses from 75 people who lived within five kilometres from the wind farm. Mr Wang reported a 64% response rate, that 70% of "respondents claimed they had been negatively affected by the wind farm noise", that "35% of the respondents had been 'moderately affected' and 19% claimed they had been 'very affected'".

It is interesting to contrast the results of Mr Wang's survey with another survey carried out by Qdos Research and commissioned by Energy Australia (then called TRUenergy). The results of this community survey were released in March 2011. It involved 358 people living near the Waterloo Wind Farm and the proposed Stony Gap and Robertstown wind farms. The survey indicated that 66% of respondents were concerned about climate change, 77% supported wind farms, 69% supported nearby wind farms, and a majority saw wind farms as positives for: appearance, tourism, local business, short term jobs, local economy and landholder income. As Energy Australia own and operate the Yallourn coal-fired power station, which is far larger in power generation than are their wind farms, there seems no reason to believe that Energy Australia should be biased toward renewable energy.

EPA research

The South Australian Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) produced a report titled "Infrasound levels near windfarms and in other environments" in January 2013. While this research was not conducted at Waterloo, it is very relevant to the allegations that have been made about this wind farm.

Major EPA study at Waterloo

On 2013/11/26 the EPA reported on a noise study they had done over a ten-week period from April to June in 2013. In this study the EPA arranged with a number of residents who lived near the wind farm to keep diaries in which they recorded their level of annoyance from the wind farm. A summary of the EPA's findings can be read on the EPA site.

Because of the significant controversy around the Waterloo Wind Farm I will copy the summary of the findings of the EPA study here:

  • Noise events that could be attributed to the wind farm were periodically audible at four locations, but at very low levels, which did not dominate the noise environment; however, no attributable events were found at the two remaining houses.
  • Where detectable, noise levels from the wind farm were found to comply with criteria in the EPA Wind Farm Environmental Noise Guidelines.
  • Wind farm operation was shown to contribute to the low frequency content of noise under some operating and environmental conditions, resulting in an increase in relevant low frequency noise descriptors
  • In those houses where infrasound was monitored, a 'blade pass frequency' component was found at levels significantly below the accepted perception threshold of 85dB(G).
  • Background noise resulting from local winds and other noise sources, was shown to contribute to increases in low frequency noise that were comparable with, or higher than contributions from the wind farm.
  • A 'rumbling' effect was found using diary records to focus the analysis, which could only be heard with amplification of audio records; however, in many cases, the EPA was unable to determine that described events could be attributed to the turbines; and at times reported events coincided with shutdowns of the plant.
  • Some degree of modulation was detected, which may have been perceivable at times by residents.
  • The rumbling and other low frequency characters found in this study would not generally be audible to a typical listener, but it is possible that sensitive people living within this very quiet area may hear them. This could cause annoyance to some people if exposed to the noise for prolonged time periods.
Peter Dolan of the EPA was later reported on the ABC North and West radio program saying that this study indicated that noise from the wind farm was not significantly impacting on the local people. He said that the entries in the diaries did not correlate with the levels of sound from the wind farm.

Some anti wind-power reporting

Graham Lloyd, 'Environment Editor' of The Australian wrote a particularly ill-informed article on Waterloo Wind Farm that was published on 2012/04/21.

Threats, abuse

I have received abusive emails from one Waterloo resident who accused me of "lies and misleading the puplic (sic)" and from another who called me a "death camp Natzi" (sic). (As stated elsewhere on these pages, I am always pleased to have people point out any errors that I have made, so long as they give convincing evidence for their claims. My email address is at the top of this page.)


A couple of night's sleep at Waterloo

 
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To get some personal experience I went to the Waterloo wind farm on the evenings of 2012/02/09 and 2012/02/14 and set up my swag beneath one of the turbines (a different section of the wind farm on each occasion).

The number of kangaroos on the ridge impressed me; I must have seen at least eight, including a small joey. I also saw a pair of wedge-tailed eagles circling near the turbines. All were apparently in good health.

 

Politicians sleeping near turbines

Greens MP Mark Parnell slept beneath the Waterloo tubines on the night of 2013/05/28, and three politicians slept in an abandoned house about two kilometres from the turbines on the night of 2013/07/17.
On both nights the wind varied from a moderate to a stiff breeze, so the turbines were operating all night. While I could plainly hear the turbines whenever I woke at night, I had no problem at all in getting a good night's sleep. Right at the foot of the turbine the sound of the turbine gear-box dominated the sound of the blades as they passed through the air. I noticed that when I moved away 100m or more all I could hear was the blades.

On both visits I stopped in Waterloo township to listen for the turbines in the evening before going to the wind farm and in the morning after leaving the wind farm. With the possible exception of the first morning I could not hear them. When there was a breeze in the nearby trees the sound from this would have drowned-out any sound from the turbines. In both mornings there was very little breeze in Waterloo while there was a good breeze on the ridge. On the first morning I thought I might just be able to hear the turbines, but could not be sure; birds were making far more noise than the turbines.

I have written more about my personal experiences sleeping at or near wind farms elsewhere.

 
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Edited 2013/06/16

Wattle Point Wind Farm


 
Wattle Point Wind Farm location
Wattle Point location
Wattle Point Wind Farm can be seen in the lower section of this Google-Earth image. Each dot at the end of a little road is a turbine.
The information station is on the road running due south into the farm.
A 55-turbine wind farm at Wattle Point near Edithburgh on Yorke Peninsula. Edithburgh is 80 km WSW of Adelaide as the crow flies, but about 230 km by road around the northern end of St. Vincent Gulf. For directions to Wattle Point go to ExplorOz.

The wind farm started operating in the first half of 2005.

Alinta sold this wind farm to a wholly-owned subsidiary of the ANZ, Energy Infrastructure Trust, in April 2007 for Aus$225m. It is run by AGL.

The Google-Earth image at the right shows the locations of individual turbines and a number of the access roads.

Wattle Point is unusual in being (as of late 2009 at least) the only large Australian wind farm laid out in a grid-pattern on level ground. It would be interesting to know how much wind-shadowing there is due to this lay-out.

In the Australian Electricity Generation Report of 2008, available from Australian Policy Online, this wind farm is listed as the eighth largest renewable energy power station in mainland eastern Australia, and the third largest wind farm, by generation for 2008, generating 248 MWh.

Wattle Point Wind Farm
Sunset at Wattle Point Wind Farm


Summary data, Wattle Point Wind Farm
StatusNo. of turbinesManufacturerModelMW each Total MWCompletedCapacity factorLatLong
Operating55VestasV821.6591May 2005 33%S 35.10°E 137.72°
The capacity factor was taken from AEMO data, via the ALG Net pages, and is from data from June 2008 to December 2012 inclusive.


 
Wattle Point Wind Farm
Old and new windmills at Wattle Point

Additional data on Wattle Point Wind Farm
Type of turbineVestas V82
Total area of wind farm11.5 square kilometres
Tower height67m
Blade length40m
Height to blade tip110m
Expected life25 years
Expected annual generation312 GWh
312 GWh/annum was roughly 2% of South Australia's electricity at the time Wattle Point was built.

The above data were from Research Institute for Sustainable Energy, (RISE).



 
Generation record
Generation record
Up to end 2012

Generation record for Wattle Point

The graph on the right shows the power generation record for Wattle Point Wind Farm as recorded by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) and downloaded via the ALG (Australian Landscape Guardians) Net site. The units are average megawatts generated month by month.

Air navigation lights

I noticed on a visit in late September 2010 that there were no lights on any of the turbines.

Community funding

It appears that there is no community fund associated with Wattle Point Wind Farm.

Noise

In September 2010 I took sound level readings among the turbines in a light breeze. The highest reading was 47dB(A) and I noted at the time that a car travelling at an estimated 60 km/hr 400m away was making more noise.

More photos are at my Wattle Point photos page; also see my notes on Visiting Wattle Point Wind Farm.
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Wattle Point Stage 2 Wind Farm

Alternatively known as Troubridge Point Wind Farm

This was proposed to be a 25 MW wind farm near the present Wattle Point farm. At least to October 2008 it has not been built. The hold up seems to be the lack of capacity in the transmission lines.

Following an inquiry I sent to the District Council of Yorke Peninsula I received the following by email...

Please be advised that Council have approved of a second wind farm near Wattle Point a couple of years ago, however, the development has not proceeded due to the fact that there is insufficient capacity in the transmission lines to accommodate additional power loadings.

Until such time that there is an extensive up grade to the existing transmission lines, which would cost the state government millions of dollars, the development will not occur.

I trust that this information answers you enquiry.

Regards,
ROGER S BROOKS
ACTING DIRECTOR DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNITY SERVICES
District Council of Yorke Peninsula
roger.brooks@yorke.sa.gov.au
www.yorke.sa.gov.au

More recently (October 2008) I have had confirmation from another source (I will not give the name) that the reason this farm was not built was a lack of support by the State Government.

So it seems yet again that a wind farm development that could happen is not going to happen because of lack of the needed government support, in this case, state government support.






 
Updated 2012/06/08

Woakwine Range Wind Farm

This project is proposed by Infigen Energy who own the nearby Lake Bonney Wind Farm.

Infigen Investor Relations sent me links to two MP3 files, on 2010/12/15, of interviews with Frank Boland, Infigen Project Manager, who was speaking about the Woakwine Wind Farm. Together with the wind farm size data and probable construction date given in the summary table below, he said that the cost of the project was expected to be greater than $800m. He said that the northern section would comprise 49 turbines and go from Cape Jaffa to Mount Benson, the largest, southern, section would go from Mount Hope to Lake Bonney (98 turbines), and there would be another six turbines near Robe. He also said that the closest turbines to houses of people without a financial connection to the wind farm would be 600 to 700m away.

Infigen seem to have little information about the project on their Net pages as of 2011/12/10.

Summary data, Woakwine Range Wind Farm
StatusNo. of turbinesMWTotal MWConstruction date
Approved1533?450 to 540Unknown
The last council to give approval was Wattle Range, who approved the project on 2012/06/07

Approximate locations of the sections of Woakwine Range Wind Farm
SectionLatitudeLongitude
NorthernS 37.01°E 139.76°
RobeS 37.18°E 139.75°
SouthernS 37.56°E 140.23°

Infigen had a pdf file on its 'Australian development pipeline' (no longer available) that mentioned the project.

The power transmission network in the region is already strugling to handle the load from the existing wind farms; it will need substantial development before this project can be brought online.

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World's End Wind Farm

StatusNo. of turbinesMWTotal MWConstruction date Lat.Long.
Proposed90?2?180Undecided S 33.83°E 139.05°

The Burra Broadcaster published a front page article on 18th August, 2004 stating that a company named Wind Developments Australia Pty. Ltd. were planning to build an 80 to 90 turbine wind farm at World's End (about 15 km South of Burra); each turbine being 2 MW. The newspaper also stated that construction was expected to take about eight months and the Company hoped to start construction by the end of 2004.

This seems to me one of the least likely of the Mid-North SA wind farms to be built. There is no evidence that I know of for any action at all on the project, and I have been told by someone in a position to know that the turbine sites are inappropriate for efficient operation.

Allco Financial Services listed this as one of their projects. Allco, in severe financial difficulties, called in administrators in November 2008.
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Updated 2010/11/01

Other proposed wind farms

In addition to those detailed above many others wind farms are proposed (table below). For every wind farm built, five have been proposed. The projects on this list are either highly speculative or in their very early days. Information concerning these would be appreciated, my email address is at the top of this page.

If and when any of these proposed wind farms look likely to be built I will write them up in more detail.

Until some significant money is spent on investigation a proposed wind farm may be little more than wishful thinking and is not worth covering in more detail than that below.



RegionWind FarmProposerMWStatus
Eyre Peninsula Elliston Stage 1
(Tungketta Hill)
Ausker Energies & ANZ Infrastructure Services 55Planning approved
No transmission lines
Elliston Stage 2 As above65Planning approved
Lake Hamilton/SheringaHydro Tasmania110 Feasibility
Mount Hill Ratch Aust. Corp.80Feasitility
Sheringa Beach Ausker Energies100Feasibility
UleyBabcock and Brown and National Power160Feasibility
Fleurieu Peninsula Kemmis HillOrigin ? 
Waitpinga Waitpinga Wind Farm P.L.?Disallowed
Lower North Thompson BeachWater and Energy Systems P.L.? Prefeasibility
Mid-NorthKulpara Ratch Aust. Corp.80Prefeasibility
Port Patterson (Pt Augusta area) DP Energy Australia PL?Proposed
Skillogalee Wind Farm DP Energy Australia PL?Prefeasibility
South East KongorongRatch Aust. Corp. 30 to 120Prefeasibility
Mount BensonBabcock and Brown National Power130Feasibility
Lake GeorgeBabcock and Brown National Power120Feasibility
Unknown Weymouth HillMeridian Energy and
Wind Farm Development
? 
For links to developers see Wind farm businesses
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Visiting SA wind-farms


As of November 2010 I have visited, or attempted to visit, 13 of the 14 operating South Australian wind farms. The best readily available map that shows all the minor roads is probably RAA's Clare Valley regional road map. Below are some notes on local accommodation, accessibility, photographing possibilities, etc. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Lake Bonney has been listed with Canunda because these two, independently owned and operated, wind farms are contiguous and it is not easy to see where one finishes and the other starts. Similarly the AGL wind farms in the Hallett area have been grouped together.

Wind farms in this section
(Locality)

Canunda (Millicent)
Cathedral Rocks (Port Lincoln)
Clements Gap (Crystal Brook)
Hallett wind farms (Burra/Jamestown)
Lake Bonney (Millicent)
Mount Millar (Cleve/Cowell)
Snowtown
Starfish Hill (Cape Jervis)
Waterloo (Clare)
Wattle Point (Edithburgh)

All wind farm turbines in SA are on private land. While you can often get quite close to some turbines via public roads, there will be others that cannot be approached except by crossing private land.

In my experience most farmers are very reasonable and will not object if you walk onto a property a short distance from a boundary fence, leave gates as you find them, are considerate of livestock, and do not go near sheds or homesteads without asking permission. I suggest not driving onto private land without permission. Most land-owners would prefer you to ask permission before entering on their land at all, but it is very often difficult to know who owns what land and where he/she lives. If you meet anyone, politely explain what you are doing.

I would appreciate information that would allow me to improve this section, for example, further information on local accommodation options.


Visiting Canunda and Lake Bonney, wind farms, Millicent

Millicent wind turbines

Location

South and west of Millicent in the South East of South Australia

Accommodation

Millicent is the closest large town. It has varied accommodation including one or more hotel, motel and a good caravan park with cabins. Dogs are permitted in the caravan park.

Accessibility

Good, mainly unsealed, roads pass around and through the two wind farms.

Photography notes

This is one of the most photogenic of SA's wind farms. The many vantage points afforded by the several roads around the wind farms give lots of opportunities. The turbines are on a low ridge and there are views over the nearby Lake Bonney in places.

The turbines are on private land. Most Australian farmers do not mind people walking on their land, but of course you can always be unlucky and meet one miserable one. Some of my photos are on a photo page.




Visiting Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm, Port Lincoln

Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm

Location

On the south coast of Eyre Peninsula, about 20 km south of Port Lincoln

Accommodation

Port Lincoln is one of South Australia's largest provincial cities, is a tourist destination, and has plentiful and varied accommodation, including hotels, motels, home-stays, b&bs, and camping grounds.

Accessibility

You cannot get closer than 10 km or so to Cathedral Rocks without crossing private land.

Photography notes

The lack of accessibility makes Cathedral Rocks the least photographable wind farm of all those in SA. The turbines can just be seen from the top of Winter's Hill, Port Lincoln, but you would need a good telephoto lens to get a mediocre photo.


Visiting Clements Gap Wind Farm

Clements Gap Wind Farm

Location

On a range of hills NW of Red Hill and South of Crystal Brook, 180 km north of Adelaide on the Port Augusta road

Accommodation

Hotels at Red Hill and Crystal Brook, caravan park at Crystal Brook

Accessibility

The Princes Highway passes by about 5 km East of the turbines. An unsealed road runs North-South roughly parallel to the turbines and passes within 100m of one turbine. Several roads, one of them sealed (the Crystal Brook–Port Broughton road, go over the range between the turbines.

Photography notes

The best views from public roads are to be obtained from the southern end of the farm.



Visiting the Hallett wind farms

Brown Hill Range dawn

Location

The Hallett wind farms are on several mainly north/south trending ridges about between Jamestown and Burra.

Accommodation

Possibly a hotel at Hallett. There is a caravan and camping park as well as hotel, a motor inn, and numerous cottages in Burra. Mount Bryan has a hotel that provides accommodation, about 20 km south of Hallett. There are hotel/motels and at least one caravan park at Jamestown, which is about 20 km north-west of the wind farm site.

Accessibility

Most people coming from the South will approach the wind farms via Burra. Apart from the Hallett to Jamestown road, only unsealed roads go close to the turbines. Several unsealed roads cross the ridge on which the Brown Hill Range and North Brown Hill wind farms are built.

Photography notes

The best views available from public roads would be from the unsealed roads that cross the ridges. Some of my photos are on a photo page.



Visiting Mount Millar Wind Farm, Cowell-Cleve

Mount Millar Wind Farm

Location

In the hills between Cowell and Cleve on northern Eyre Peninsula

Accommodation

Caravan parks at Cowell, motels at Cowell and Cleve.

Accessibility

Sealed road part way from either Cleve or Cowell, then unsealed roads. Roughly equal distances from either of these towns (25-30 km).

Photography notes

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There is only one road well placed for photographing; it runs most of the length of the wind farm and is very close to some of the turbines. The turbines are on the top of one of the highest ridges in the area, the land is mostly cleared but there is some scrub. There is a viewing area very close to the base of one turbine. Some of my photos are on a photo page.


Visiting Snowtown Wind Farm

Snowtown Wind Farm

Location

On the range of hills west of Lochiel and Snowtown about 130 km north of Adelaide on the Port Augusta road

Accommodation

Motel at Lochiel. Hotel and caravan park at Snowtown.

Accessibility

Snowtown is on the Princes Highway. Several unsealed roads cross the Barunga Range near the Snowtown turbines. There is no dedicated viewing area, nor are any turbines within less than a few hundred metres of a public road.

Photography notes

There are few good vantage points on public roads, largely because the roads cross the range through the lower altitude gaps. However, some interesting views are possible, especially given interesting weather conditions. Some of my photos are on a photo page.

There is a turbine blade on display in Snowtown; worth a look.




Visiting Starfish Hill wind farm

 
Starfish Hill with sea mist
Some of the Starfish Hill turbines with a sea mist
 
Wind turbines at Starfish Hill, Fleurieu Peninsula
Starfish Hill turbines – these on Salt Creek Hill – silhouetted against Saint Vincent Gulf

Location

At the south-western end of Fleurieu Peninsula, between Cape Jervis and Second Valley

Accommodation

Caravan park at Second Valley (allows dogs), cabins at Sunset Cove Resort, holiday units at Cape Jervis.

Accessibility

Sealed road then unsealed roads from Cape Jervis and Second Valley. There is a viewing area very close to the base of one turbine. The turbines are on two ridges – the higher is Starfish Hill, the lower is Salt Creek Hill – overlooking Saint Vincent Gulf. The two hills are accessed from separate unsealed roads running off the main (sealed) Cape Jervis road.

Photography notes

There are 8 turbines on Starfish hill and 15 on Salt Creek Hill. Of the two, Starfish hill provides the better photographic opportunities from near the roads. Trees can provide a useful foreground on Salt Creek Hill. The Salt Creek turbines can be silhouetted against the sea if you photograph from Starfish Hill. Sea-mists can give a useful atmosphere. Some of my photos of Starfish Hill Wind Farm are here.



Visiting Waterloo Wind Farm

Crane and towers

Location

On a north-south trending range of hills about 40 km south-east of Clare and 110 km north of Adelaide near the Broken Hill road (Highway 32). To get to Waterloo village, turn east at Manoora.

Accommodation

There is a big choice of accommodation in the touristy Clare Valley wine region and some of the towns near Waterloo have hotels.

Accessibility

Minor roads cross the range in several places. As of October 2010 I have not explored all the possibilities of photography at Waterloo. Contact Dijana Jevremov of Roaring 40s (dijana.jevremov@roaring40s.com) to arrange a visit to the wind farm.

Photography notes

There should be good opportunities of getting well composed photos from, or near, the roads that cross the ridge using some of the scattered remnant vegetation in the foreground.



Visiting Wattle Point wind farm

Wattle Point wind turbines

Location

A few kilometres south-west of Edithburgh on the southern extremity of Yorke Peninsula

Accommodation

Hotels and caravan parks with cabins at Edithburgh, Yorketown and Coobowie. A motel at Edithburgh.

Accessibility

Sealed road to Edithburgh and Yorketown, then several unsealed roads pass through the wind farm, which is on flat ground.

Photography notes

This is one of the most photogenic wind farms in South Australia, from public roads. The topography is flat, but various shrubs, trees and wind-pumps can provide useful foregrounds. The turbines are in straight lines, unlike any other Australian wind farm; this provides unique photo opportunities.

You will probably find that you need to go a short distance onto private land for the best perspectives. In my experience most Australian farmers do not mind a photographer entering their land on foot.

I have visited Wattle Point several times. The best times of day are sunrise and sunset. I would recommend to anyone standing in the middle of this wind farm while the sun rose or set; it's almost a spiritual experience. The turbines are the land-bound equivalents of the old sailing ships, graceful, quiet, impressive in their power. See also Of wind turbines and sailing ships.




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Edited 2014/06/30

Power interconnectors

Several interconnectors (high capacity high voltage long distance power lines) have been built between SA and the eastern states over the last few years. Their purpose was mainly to import power into SA, but if the proposed generation capacity is developed then these interconnectors could be used for exportation of green power from SA to the eastern states. To July 2009 no long-distance power transmission line has been built in Australia specifically for renewable energy.

ConnectorOwner/Manager CapacityConnection Points
HeywoodElectraNet SA 500 MW import
300 MW export
Lower SE SA to Portland Vic.
Murray-LinktransEnergie 200 MWRedcliff Vic. to Monash SA
Proposed
SA-NSW Interconnector (SNI) 1
NEMCO ??
Proposed
SA-NSW Interconnector (SNI) 2
Transgrid ?SA/NSW border to Robertstown via Monash

Connectors (extracted from a Net page – no longer available – by Beyond Logic and elsewhere) are listed in the table above.

Peter Hannam wrote an article in The Age on 2013/09/05 reporting that the Australian Energy Regulator had approved an upgrade on the Heywood Interconnector that will increase capacity by 40% (increasing its capacity by around 190MW). The upgrade will allow for the export of power from increased wind farm capacity in South Australia.






Generation and consumption on 2014/06/27

 
Wind farm generation and South Australian power consumption
Mike Hudson's graph
Acknowledgements: data from AEMO, graph produced and kindly supplied by Mike Hudson
During a large part of the week beginning 2014/06/22 there were widespread, strong and persistant winds in SE Australia. Wind farm capacity factors reached around 80% and above for a substantial part of the period.

Total installed wind power in SA, including the new Snowtown Stage 2 was 1475MW. From Mike Hudson's graph on the right it can be seen that the approximate average generation for the day was 1200MW. This represents a capacity factor of 81%.

It can be seen from the graph that between 1am and 7am SA's wind turbines were generating more power than was being consumed in the state. Indeed, most of SA's demand for the whole day was coming from the wind farms.

The dip in the power generation line from around 2pm to 3pm was due to Snowtown 2 North dropping out for a time.

Around one tonne of greenhouse CO2 is abated for every MWh generated by Australia's wind farms, so on this day about 20 tonnes of CO2 were being abated every minute; about 29 000 tonnes for the whole day.

It is interesting that the SA part of the NEM grid, and the power interconnectors, seemed to handle the load without problems. (There were some power outages because of fallen trees across power lines, etc.)






The big blow of 2005/01/03

At the date above there was a very destructive wind in the Port Pirie/Crystal Brook/Red Hill area. From the large number of trees blown down I estimated that it was similar in strength to two previous very damaging winds; one about 1980 and the other around 1999. I wondered if there would be any likelihood of such a wind damaging wind turbines.

Ken Jack of Stanwell (the proposers of Barn Hill Wind Farm, Red Hill – Wandearah area) kindly informed me of the wind velocities that he recorded. As some wind farm operators treat their wind velocity records as confidential, it would be unfair for me to publish the exact figure here. However, I can say that the strongest gust was well below the sort of wind that might be expected to bring down a wind turbine.






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Links to subjects on this page...

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On this page...
27% in 2012/13
41% wind energy for third quarter 2013
85% wind energy for a short time
Abatement
Allendale Wind Farm
Annular generator
Barn Hill Wind Farm
Big blow of 3rd Jan 05
Bluff Range Wind Farm
Brown Hill Range Wind Farm
Canunda Wind Farm
Capacities of conventional power stations
Carmodys Hill Wind Farm
Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm
Ceres Project
Clements Gap Wind Farm
Collaby Hill Wind Farm
Colour coding for wind farm status-Table
Contents
Coober Pedy Wind Farm
Crystal Brook Wind Farm
Electricity imports decreasing due to wind power-Graph
Elliston Stage 1 Wind Farm
Elliston Stage 2 Wind Farm
Emissions from generation-Graph
Emissions from power generation
End of SA government support for renewable energy?
EPA research
EPA study at Waterloo
Eyre Peninsula wind project
Exmoor Wind Farm
Future of wind power
Gag clause
Generation and consumption on 2014/06/27
Generation costs at Hallett
Generation duration for SA wind-Graph
Green Point Wind Farm
Greenhouse gas emissions-Graph
Growth of the SA wind industry
Gulnare Wind Farm
Hallett-map
Hallett #1
Hallett #2
Hallett #3
Hallett #4
Hallett #5
Hallett Hill Wind Farm
Hallett wind farms
Hornsdale Wind Farm
Installed wind power, by wind farm-Table
Installed wind power in SA
Introduction
Invitation to lie
Kemmis Hill Wind Farm
Keyneton Wind Farm
Kongorong Wind Farm
Kulpara Wind Farm
Lake Bonney Stage 1 Wind Farm
Lake Bonney Stage 2 Wind Farm
Lake Bonney Stage 3 Wind Farm
Lake Bonney wind farms
Lake George Wind Farm
Lake Hamilton-Sheringa Wind Farm
Lincoln Gap Wind Farm
Mid-North SA
More equible financial benefit?
Mount Benson Wind Farm
Mount Bryan Wind Farm
Mount Hill Wind Farm
Mount Millar Wind Farm
Myponga-Sellicks Hill Wind Farm
North Brown Hill Wind Farm
Operating SA wind farms-Graph
Organised opposition
Other proposed wind farms
Palmer Wind Farm
Percentage of wind power in SA
Port Augusta Wind Farm
Port Patterson Wind Farm
Power interconnectors
Robe Wind Farm
Robertstown Wind Farm
SA wind farm generation-Graph
Sheoak Flat Wind Farm
Sheringa Beach Wind Farm
Skillogalee Wind Farm
Sleep at Waterloo
Snowtown Wind Farm
Snowtown Wind Farm Stage 2
South Australian wind farms
Starfish Hill Wind Farm
Stony Gap Wind Farm
Thompson Beach Wind Farm
Top
Troubridge Point Wind Farm
Turbine shut-down Hallett-2
Uley Wind Farm
Vincent North Wind Farm
Visiting Canunda Wind Farm
Visiting Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm
Visiting Clements Gap Wind Farm
Visiting Hallett wind farms
Visiting Lake Bonney Wind Farm
Visiting Mount Millar Wind Farm
Visiting SA wind-farms
Visiting Snowtown Wind Farm
Visiting Starfish Hill Wind Farm
Visiting Waterloo Wind Farm
Visiting Wattle Point Wind Farm
Waitpinga Wind Farm
Waterloo Wind Farm
Waterloo Stage 2 Wind Farm
Waterloo WF: organised opposition
Wattle Point Stage 2 Wind Farm
Wattle Point Wind Farm
Weymouth Hill Wind Farm
Where SA and Mid-North SA stand on the world scene
Willogoleche Hill Wind Farm
Wind energy contribution to SA power
Wind energy vs greenhouse intensity-Graph
Wind farm generation data
Wind farms by location
Wind farms by region
Wind generation in SA by region-Graph
Wind output at high demand periods-Graph
Wind power in SA
Woakwine Range Wind Farm
Worlds End Wind Farm
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SA wind farms
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SA wind farms