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Wind in the Bush, WA, Contents

Introduction | Wind power generation in WA | WA Farmers Federation on wind power | Wind farms by region | Wind farms by location | Operating wind farms | WA wind farms
(Off this page: Locations on Google Maps)

Links | Index
This page created 2008/03/03, modified 2014/07/11 – ©
Information about wind farms that I have missed, additional interesting information,
or corrections for anything that I have got wrong, would be greatly appreciated.
I'd like to especially acknowledge Craig Carter and Daniel Thompson of Verve Energy for information provided.
About these pages
Contact: email daveclarkecb@yahoo.com

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. There is also a search box near the top of the Wind Home page. 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.


Introduction

 
Colour coding
for wind farms below
Proposed
Development application lodged
Approved
Under construction
Operating
This page is one of a group intended to provide unbiased and acurate information on wind farms to anyone who may be interested. It mainly concentrates on large, utility scale wind turbines and farms (1MW or greater), but some smaller installations are included.

Climate change is the greatest threat facing the world today and ocean acidification is not far behind. Both are caused largely by buring fossil fuels: coal, oil and gas, to run our transport and generate electricity. Generated electricity by wind turbines is one of a number of ways that we can reduce our reliance on fossil fuel-generated electricity and therefore reduce our greenhouse gas production, limit climate change and slow the rate at which our oceans are soaking up acid.

Western Australia's wind farms are mainly along the western and southern coasts, from Kalbarri in the north around to Esperance in the south. However, what will be by far WA's biggest wind farm and one of the biggest in Australia, Collgar is in the Wheat Belt.



 
Edited 2013/07/01

Wind power generation in WA

 
Renewable energy on the SWIS
Renewable energy on SWIS
Graph source: WA Office of Energy
The WAOE stated that almost 80% of WA's renewable energy on the SWIS is from wind. See text.
As of April 2012 this still seems to be the most up-to-date data available.
In eastern Australia the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) publishes power generation data from the larger wind farms on the Internet. I have summarised this information on these pages, see Power generation of wind farms. Until recently there was nothing similar in WA. By 2013/07/01 the Independent Market Operator had a Net site giving live figures on wind power generation for at least some of the WA wind farms. However, it seems that no data are provided to allow the calculation of capacity factors or the graphing of monthly generation figures.

WA Today published an article on 2012/04/04 passing on a figure of 4.33% as the proportion of WA's electricity made up by wind power in the twelve months up to October 2011. The Collgar Wind Farm, which started generating power in May 2011 and became fully operational in October 2011 doubled WA's installed wind power capacity (see the graph at Operating WA wind farms). One would expect that around 7% of WA's electricity would now be generated by wind power. (I emailed the Dept. of Finance [osr@finance.wa.gov.au], which is now responsible for WA's renewable energy, on 2012/04/09, but did not receive a reply).

The Western Australian Government Office of Energy (no longer existing; its functions have been transferred to the Finance Department) included the following on their Net site: "Most of Western Australia's electricity generated by renewable energy comes from wind. The state's 12 wind farms, with a total of 198 megawatts of installed generation capacity, account for 63% of WA's electricity produced from renewable energy sources. Almost 80% of renewable energy produced on the SWIS [Southwest Interconnected System] is from wind." (2011/07/18)

The above graph gives a rough idea of how much electricity WA's wind farms produced up to 2009/10 in total.

 
This section added 2013/12/21

WA wind farm generation figures


 
NameInstalled capacity 2013Average annual
generation
Average generationCap. Factor
 MWGWhMWpercent
Albany Wind Farm21.655.7 6.630
Blairfox Karakin Wind Farm5.0 3.80.815
Blairfox Westhills Wind Farm5.0 0.70.48
Bremer Bay Wind Farm0.6 1.40.228
Collgar Wind Farm206.0 627.074.036
Denmark Community Wind Farm1.4 4.40.643
Emu Downs Wind Farm80.0 202.323.930
Grasmere Wind Farm13.8 38.14.533
Greenough River Solar Farm10.0 21.72.626
Kalbarri Wind Farm1.6 4.20.531
Mt Barker Wind Farm2.4 6.20.730
Mumbida Wind Farm55.0 121.417.632
Walkaway Wind Farm89.1 303.035.840
SummaryTotal installed MWTotal annual GWhAverage
generation MWh
Average
(percent)
 475.117 589 164.135
The data in the table on the right were kindly provided by Mike Hudson who extracted them from the IMOWA Net site (I have not been able to do so).

IMOWA stands for the Independent Market Operator, WA, which is the organisation responsible for the operation of the South West Interconnected [power] System (the SWIS).

Note that the average capacity factor is the same as that for the wind farms on the eastern Australian grid (NEM, National Electricity Market).
 
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WA Farmers Federation on wind power

In an article about the Flat Rocks Wind Farm the ABC On-line News, 2013/07/23 reported:
The WA Farmers Federation says the idea of broadacre farmers using a small portion of their land for wind turbines to generate extra income is something producers in other regions should also be considering.

President Dale Park says it's "inherently a good idea".

"I think it's a great chance for farmers to offset the variability that we have in climate these days," he said.

"If we can have a system where we can profit from the wind we get, for instance, we should be grabbing it with both hands.

"To the best of my knowledge, there are no health concerns and there are plenty of communities in WA that have got wind farms and haven't got a problem."




 
Updated 2011/04/04

Wind farms by region

This table is intended to include all the large operating wind farms (>1MW) and a number of
large proposed farms, but does not attempt to include all small farms or all proposed farms.
See also Wind farms by location.
RegionWind farmStatus
Far north
coast
Coral Bay Operating
Denham, Shark Bay Operating
North coast Alinta, GeraldtonOperating
Emu Downs, CervantesOperating
Kalbarri Operating
Mumbida Construction
Warradarge Proposed
Inland Collgar, Merredin Operating
Flat Rocks, Kojonup Proposed
Islands Rottnest Operating
South Coast AlbanyOperating
Bremer Bay Operating
Denmark Proposed
Esperance Nine Mile Beach Operating
Salmon Beach Dismantled
Ten Mile Lagoon Operating
Grasmere Operating
Hopetoun Operating
Mt Barker Operating
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This section written 2011/04/26

Wind farms by location

Below is a conceptual map of south-western WA. The numbers in each cell are the Latitude and Longitude, the main town in the 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, SA and Victoria.

Two WA wind farms are on the western coast north of this area: Coral Bay and Denham.

See also Wind farm by region.

27,114
Kalbarri
27,115
Billabong
27,116
Jingemarra
27,117
Cue
27,118
Wanmuila
27,119
Lake Mason
27,120
Yakabindie
27,121
Darda
28,114
Geraldton
28,115
Mullewa
28,116
Yalgoo
28,117
Mt Magnet
28,118
Anketell
28,119
Black Hill
28,120
Agnew
28,121
Nambi
29,115
Eneaba
29,116
Caron
29,117
Paynes Find
29,118
Pindabunna
29,119
Mt Elvire
29,120
Riverina
29,121
Jeedamya
30,115
Cervantes
30,116
Damboring
30,117
Mollerin
30,118
Monnie Rock
30,119
Koolyanobbing
30,120
Jaurdi
30,121
Kalgoorlie
31,115
Perth
31,116
Northam
31,117
Cunderdin
31,118
Merredin
31,119
Southern Cross
31,120
Woolgangie
31,121
Widgiemooltha
32,115
Mandurah
32,116
Wandering
32,117
Yealering
32,118
Kondinin
32,119
Holt Rock
32,120
Lake Hope
32,121
Norseman
33,115
Bunbury
33,116
Collie
33,117
Kojonup
33,118
Pingrup
33,119
Lake King
33,120
Ravensthorpe
33,121
Esperance
34,115
Augusta
34,116
Manjimup
34,117
Mt Barker
34,118
Boxwood Hill
34,119
Bremer Bay
34,116
Walpole coast
35,117
Albany



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

Lat 27, Long 114 – Kalbarri
Kalbarri, operating.

Lat 28, Long 114 – Geraldton
Walkaway, operating; Mumbida, construction.

Lat 30, Long 115 – Cevantes
Badgingarra, proposed; Dandaragan, proposed; Emu Downs, operating; Warradarge, proposed.

Lat 31, Long 115 – Perth
Fremantle Community WF proposed.
Nilgen, proposed.

Lat 32, Long 115 – Mandurah
Rottnest, operating.

Lat 33, Long 117 – Kojonup
Flat Rocks, proposed.

Lat 31, Long 118 – Merredin
Collgar, operating.

Lat 33, Long 120 – Ravensthorpe
Hopetoun, operating.

Lat 33, Long 121 – Esperance
Esperance, operating.

Lat 34, Long 117 – Mt Barker
Mount Barker, operating.

Lat 34, Long 119 – Bremer Bay
Bremer Bay, operating.

Lat 35, Long 117 – Albany
Albany, operating, Denmark, proposed; Grasmere, operating.

Wind home
WA wind farms
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Updated 2012/04/06

Operating Western Australian wind farms

Operating Western Australian wind farms, MegaWatts
December 2011
Wind Power in WA
Small wind farms have been excluded
Operating wind farms in Western Australia
(Wind farms of less than 0.6MW excluded)
Wind farmMWCommissioned
Albany21.6 Oct. 2001
Bremer Bay0.6 June 2005
Cocos (Keeling) Island 0.82005
Collgar 206.5Oct. 2011
Coral Bay0.8 Oct. 2006
Denham1.0 1998, 1999, 2007
Emu Downs79.2 Oct. 2006
Esperance: Nine Mile Beach 3.62003
Esperance: Ten Mile Lagoon 2.01993
Grasmear13.8 Feb. 2012
Hopetoun1.2 2009?
Kalbarri1.6 July 2008
Mt Barker2.4 March 2011
Rottnest Island 0.6Sept. 2006
Walkaway (Alinta)89.1 Apr. 2006
Total424 



Western Australian wind farms

Albany
Alinta
Badgingarra
Bremer Bay
Clifton
Collgar
Coral Bay
Coronation
Dandaragan
Denham
Denmark
Emu Downs
Esperance
Flat Rocks
Fremantle
Grasmere
Hopetoun
Kalbarri
Karakin
Merredin
Moonies Hill
Mount Barker
Mumbida
Nilgen
Nine Mile Beach
Rottnest Island
Salmon Beach
Sumich
Waddi
Ten Mile Lagoon
Walkaway
Warradarge
Yandin
Other operating wind farms | Minor wind farms | Other proposed wind farms
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Updated 2011/12/12

Albany Wind Farm

Also see Grasmere Wind Farm

It seems likely that the six new turbines of Grasmere will be included in the Albany Wind Farm.

 
Albany turbine
One of the Albany turbines at sunset
Verve Energy's Albany Wind Farm is twelve kilometres west of Albany and 400km SSE of Perth. An interactive map showing its location and giving directions on how to get there is available on ExplorOz.

It is on a very scenic section of the south coast of Western Australia. There is a parking area, several viewing areas, and a few kilometres of pleasant walking trails at the base of several of the turbines. There is a trail connecting to the Bibbulmum track.

Good views can be seen of places as far away as the Porongorup and Stirling ranges from one of the hill lookouts.

The Albany Wind Farm is owned by Verve Energy, from whom came much of the data for this section.

Milton Evans, Mayor of Albany, has said that the existing wind farm generates about 50% of Albany's electricity. (He also said that there was the possibility of wave power development.) With the new (Grasmere) turbines wind could supply up to 80% of Albany's power needs.

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Albany Wind Farm summary data
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Annual productionCommissionedLat.Long.
Operating121.821.6 Average 77 GWhOctober 2001S 35.06°E 117.79°


Albany turbines
Before sunrise, Albany Wind Farm


Further data on Albany Wind Farm (stage 1)...
Project cost$45 million
Turbines
Rotation rate10 to 22 revolutions per minute
Productive wind speedsFrom 2 to 34 m/sec (7 to 122 km/hr)
Wind speed at which
maximum output reached
14 m/sec (50 km/hr)
Survival wind speedGreater than 60 m/sec (220 km/hr)
Wind generatorsEnercon E-66
Turbine typeThree bladed, upwind, horizontal axis,
variable speed inverter coupled
MechanicalNo gearbox
ManufacturedGermany
Tower height65m
Tower materialSteel
Rotor diameter70m
Blade length35m
BladesGlass fibre reinforced epoxy


Productivity
Greenhouse gas savingEstimated at 70 000 tonnes CO2 p.a.
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Updated 2012/05/24

Badgingarra Wind Farm

 
Badgingarra map
Map from minutes of meeting of Shire of Badgingarra
Badgingarra is to be in the yellow area, Emu Downs is marked pink.
Proposed by Griffin Windfarm 2 Pty Ltd (Griffin Energy is involved in coal-fired power stations in WA) and Wind Portfolio Pty Ltd, this farm, if built, will be immediately to the north of the existing Emu Downs Wind Farm, 16km west of the town of Badgingarra and about 185km north of Perth.

An extension of Planning Approval was granted by the Shire of Dandaragan on 2010/11/11. On the PA it was stated that constuction was expected to take around 16 to 20 months, making the earliest possible completion date about March of 2012.

The proponents say that "The turbines will be situated on previously cleared farm land and have minimal environmental impact during and after the construction phase. Some turbine sites may require minor vegetation clearing however this will be avoided wherever possible." The Development Application also state that the project is strongly supported by the relevant landowners. The minimum set-back from residences is 1km.

Griffin has a Net page on the wind farm.

Badgingarra Wind Farm summary data
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Completion dueLat.Long.
Approved43 to 652 to 3About 130 After March 2012S 30.37°E 115.28°
43 turbines of 3MW or 65 turbines of 2MW

The Development Application states that most of the winds are from the south and south-east, with less, but signifacant winds, from the east and north-east.

Further data on Badgingarra Wind Farm
Project
Greenhouse gas abatementEstimated at 455 thousand tonnes per annum





Bremer Bay Wind Farm

 
Updated 2010/07/29
Bremer Bay, 500km SE of Perth between Albany and Esperance, has a single turbine. (Strictly speeking is should not be called a wind farm, but I have done so here for ease of indexing.) It is owned by Verve Energy and normally feeds power into the 33kV feeder that supplies Bremer Bay, but can also operate in parallel with a local diesel power station when it is brought into service as a back-up supply for Bremer Bay.


Bremer Bay Wind Farm summary data
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Completion dateLat.Long.
Operating10.60.6 June 2005Approx. S 34.39°E 119.38°


Powercorp were the principal contractor for this project. The project value was Aus$3 million.
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Updated 2012/07/22

Clifton Wind Farm

Originally proposed by Cape Bouvard Energy, this wind farm was to be between Clifton Beach and Old Coast Road, Clifton. The proposal was dropped in July 2012 (from an article by Rachel Fenner in the Mandurah Coastal Times). The reason given was negative community feedback.

Summary data, Clifton Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
Proposal abandonedUp to 36?More than 100 Was to be mid 2015S 32.80°E 115.65°

Additional data on Clifton Wind Farm
Tower height95m
Rotor diameter112m

It is a pity that this wind farm was dropped, especially since it seems that the reason was because of 'not in my back yard' (NIMBY) feelings in the local residents. The whole west coast from Geraldton down to Augusta would have an excellent wind resource and to have a project attempted but failing in this area will probably tend to discourage any other attempt on the coast south of Perth.

The cancelling of the project is a victory for ignorance, selfishness and NIMBYism and a loss for renewable energy, the fight to slow climate change and bad news for the future of the planet.

Email received from Steve Watson of Cape Bouvard Investments PL

The reason for this decision [to abandon the project] centres around concerns raised against the proposal leading up to and during our recent community open days. During these sessions, the majority of local residents expressed views including:
  1. That the wind farm would destroy the tranquillity of what is essentially a retirement location for most residents,
  2. A belief that a wind farm would negatively impact on property values near the site,
  3. Concerns over rumoured negative health effects claimed to be associated with wind farms, and
  4. Environmental concerns, including perceived threats to bird life and the thrombolites in Lake Clifton.
Cape Bouvard Energy disputes the veracity of these claims, which are not consistent with the findings of our environmental, noise, and economics consultants. However, having lived in the peel region for over thirty years the Proprietors of Cape Bouvard have decided that they wish to respect the views of their neighbours in the region, and the Clifton Beach Wind Farm project is terminated accordingly. The five rural lots comprising this site will now be sold to interested parties, either individually or as a parcel.






 
Updated 2012/11/07

Collgar Wind Farm

Also called Merredin Wind Farm

 
Location
Wind farm location
Acknowledgement: http://www.collgarwindfarm.com.au/
The wind farm is about 25km SE of Merredin, south of Burracoppin, and about 250km ENE of Perth. The project was approved by the Shire of Merridin in late September 2008 and by the end of October 2011 all of the turbines were fully commissioned and generating. This wind farm is among the largest in Australia; only the Hallett and Lake Bonney wind farms of SA are larger; at the time of construction, Collgar was the largest single stage wind farm in Australia. (When completed, probably in early 2013, Macarthur Wind Farm in Victoria will be the biggest in Australia.)

There is a Collgar Wind Farm Net page for the project. First power exported into the WA South West Interconnected System (SWIS) was on 2011/05/14.

Windlab also have a Net page on the farm (with links to the above site).

15 personnel will be employed perminantly for maintenance of the farm.

I must thank Alistair Craib and Carmen Hantar for some of the information in this section. Any errors present are probably mine.


Collgar Wind Farm summary data
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW ConstructionInitial OperationFull powerLat.Long.
Operating1111.86206 May 2010May 2011October 2011S 31.63° E 118.48°

I have been informed that the turbines at Collgar are Vestas V90-2MW.


 
A small part of Collgar Wind Farm – under construction
Collgar Wind Farm
Photo taken April 26, 2011
Image credit Diana House

Some milestones

Western Power announced completion of a $20m project connecting Collgar to the grid on 2011/04/20. (See World Transmission and Distribution)

The Merredin Mercury published an article 2010/09/22 stating that "wind turbine components have started arriving at the Collgar Wind Farm". It further stated that "Collgar staff expect to start putting the first towers up in November, using cranes to move each part into position before bolting them together" and that footings are being poured. The turbine components are being trucked from the port of Bunbury via Narembeen to Collgar by convoys every Monday, Wednesday and Friday over a period of six months. Each of the 111 turbine comes in 7 truck loads; a total of 777 loads. (See "http://www.merredinmercury.com.au/news/local/news/general/ turbines-arrive-at-wind-farm/1948897.aspx" – there should be no spaces in the URL.)

ABC on-line news stated that "the Energy Minister Peter Collier officially opened the Collgar wind farm in Merredin" on 2010/08/01. On March 24, 2010, they reported that an agreement had been made with Synergy to purchase power from the farm over the next 15 years.

Collgar Wind Farm - additional information
Project valueAus$750 million
Turbine makeVestas?
Tower height80m
Blade length44m
Total height (tower and blades)125m
Annual generation792 GWhr expected
Capacity factor44% (calculated from annual generation)
Greenhouse gas abatementAt least 700 000 tonnes expected


On the grapevine, January 2010:

  • Suzlon tried to get the contract for this project, but couldn't raise the money because they had too much debt for the banks to be interested.
  • Vestas won the contract and are to use 1.86MW turbines with the same size rotors as on the 3MW turbines at Waterloo in SA; winds at Merredin are weaker than those at Waterloo. (See wind resource map of Australia.)
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Coral Bay Wind Farm

 
Updated 2010/07/29
Owned by Verve Energy, this wind farm is about 1130km north of Perth.

Coral Bay turbines
Coral Bay turbines; showing how they can be raised and lowered
Photo credit: Brendan Ryan


Coral Bay Wind Farm summary data
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW CommissionedLat.Long.
Operating30.2750.825 October 2006Approx.S 23.15°E 113.77°


Coral bay Wind Farm - additional information
Project valueAus$4 million
Turbine typeVergnet 275kW, lay-down model
Annual generationAround 1980 MWh

The area is subject to tropical cyclones with consequent occasional hurricane force winds. The turbines can be lowered to avoid the strongest winds. The wind farm is supported by a flywheel energy storage system supplied by Powercorp and supplies more than half of Coral Bay's electricity requirements.
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This section written 2013/03/10

Coronation Wind Farm

Proposed to be adjacent to Coronation Beach 25km north of Geraldton. Apparently the project has been approved by the Shire of Chapman Valley, the WA Planning Commission, and the Environment Protection Authority.

It seems that this project was proposed by around 2003 and there seems to have been little action on it since.

Summary data, Coronation Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
Aproved581.8104 UndecidedApprox. S 28.55°E 114.56°

Additional data on Coronation Wind Farm
Owner/operatorEnergy Visions?
Project costAus$200 million






 
Updated 2012/04/19

Dandaragan Wind Farm

Including Waddi and Yandin wind farms

The wind farms, if built, will be on the South and North-west sides of Dandaragan and 145km North of Perth. (Waddi will be around 12km West of Dandaragan township and Yandin 5km to the South). If built at the proposed size (500+ MW) in the near future, Dandaragan Wind farm will be the biggest in Australia.

Planning approval for the project was received on 2011/12/15.

Wind Prospect, the proposers, have a Net site intended to inform the public about the project.

Dandaragan Wind Farm summary data
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateCompletion dateLat.Long.
Approved1512.1 to 3.4513.4 Early 2014?Late 2015?Approx. S 30.67°E 115.70°
The coordinates above are those of the township of Dandaragan

Further data on Dandaragan Wind Farm
Expected annual generation1 800 000 MWh
Expected annual carbon dioxide abatement1 500 000 tonnes





Denham Wind Farm

 
Updated 2010/07/29
Denham is an isolated town on the west coast of Western Australia, about 900km north of Perth. The Denham Wind Farm is owned by Verve Energy.

A single 230kW Enercon wind turbine was first installed in 1998. Two similar turbines were added in late 1999, and a further 330kW Enercon turbine was added in 2007.



Denham Wind Farm summary data
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW CommissionedLat.Long.
Operating43 x 0.23 + 1 x 0.331.02 First turbine 1998, last in 2007Approx. S 25.92°E 113.55°

The annual average wind energy penetration is around 40%.
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Updated 2013/05/11

Denmark Wind Farm

 
Denmark Community Wind Farm
Denmark Wind Farm
Photo credit, Craig Chappelle, Chairman, Denmark Community Windfarm Ltd.
"Denmark Community Windfarm originated as a local response to the global challenge of climate change. Since the first community workshops in 2003 the vision has been for Denmark to own and operate its own windfarm."

Photos of the Denmark WF can be viewed at Skyfarming.

Federal Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, announced on 2008/10/16 funding of $1.4 million dollars for this project.

ReNew carried a major article about this wind farm in its issue 121 (Oct. - Dec. 2012).

Interestingly community wind farms are rare in Australia, they are much more common in some European countries, including (ironically) Denmark. Apart from this project and the Mount Barker Wind Farm, I only know of one other community wind farm in Australia, that is the Hepburn Wind Farm in Victoria; although there is another proposed for Fremantle. Some people involved in the Mount Barker Wind Farm are also involved here.

Denmark Wind Farm summary data
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Completion dateLat.Long.
Operating20.81.6 2013/02/20Approx. S 35.03°E 117.33°





 
Altered 2012/04/15

Emu Downs Wind Farm

Emu downs turbine
Emu Downs Wind Farm
Photo credit: Sarah Rose, W.A.
Construction of this wind farm near Cervantes 200km north of Perth started in November 2005. It is in the Shire of Dandaragan.

An article on MiningOilGas, 2012/04/15, said that while Emu Downs Wind Farm was constructed as a joint venture projects between Griffin Energy and Queensland's Stanwell Corporation the current owner was APA Group (100%). The turbines are Vestas. The electricity is purchased by Synergy Energy and some of it goes to the sea water desalination plant at Kwinana.

Emu Downs summary data
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Annual productionCommissionedLat.Long.
Operating481.6579.2 ?October 2006Approx. S 30.50°E 115.33°

Emu downs turbines
Emu Downs Wind Farm
Photo credit: Brendan Ryan


Further data on Emu Downs Wind Farm...
Project
Project costAus$180 million
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Updated 2010/07/29

Esperance wind farms

The Esperance wind farms are owned by Verve Energy.

Esperance - 600km ESE of Perth - has been the pioneering town in the Australian wind energy experience. It started with the Salmon Beach wind farm, the first wind farm in Australia, comprising six 60kW turbines and commissioned in March 1987. The nine 225kW Ten Mile Lagoon turbines were built in 1993 and the six 600kW Nine Mile Beach turbines were added in 2003.

The current power system comprises these two wind farms plus a 30MW gas-fired power station. The wind farm generates about 22% of Esperance's electricity with a maximum instantaneous penetration of just over 65%.

An interactive map showing the location and giving directions on how to get there is available on ExplorOz.



Salmon Beach Wind Farm

Salmon Beach turbine
The last remaining in-situ Salmon Beach turbine in the foreground, some of the Nine Mile Beach turbines are visible in the background. Photo taken from a lookout at the south of Esperance.

 
Turbine in Esperance
Salmon Beach turbine on display in Esperance

Salmon Beach Wind Farm, the first in Australia, no longer operates but two turbines have been retained for historical interest.

The farm operated from 1987 for nearly 15 years, but was decommissioned in 2002 due to urban encroachment, the age of the turbines and the fact that there were by then much larger and more cost-effective units on the market.

The wind farm consisted of six turbines each of 60kW capacity.
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Nine Mile Beach Wind Farm


Nine Mile Beach 
turbines
Nine Mile Beach turbines

Nine Mile Beach Wind Farm summary data
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Annual productionCommissionedLat.Long.
Operating60.63.6 10.5 GWh2003S 33.88°E 121.79°


Further data on Nine Mile Beach Wind Farm...
Construction
Principal contractor Power Corp
Turbines
Rotation rate18 to 34 revolutions per minute
Productive wind speedsFrom 2.5 to 35 m/sec (9 to 126 km/hr)
Survival wind speed60 m/sec (216 km/hr)
Wind generatorsEnercon E-40
Turbine typeVariable speed, inverter connected
MechanicalNo gearbox
ManufacturedGermany/Australia
Tower height46m
Blade length22m
Capacity factor33%




Ten Mile Lagoon Wind Farm


Ten Mile Lagoon
Ten Mile Lagoon turbines on left.
Some of the Nine Mile Beach turbines are barely visible in the distance on the right.


There is a scenic road around Ten Mile Lagoon and Nine Mile Beach wind farms; worth taking for the coastal scenery let alone the turbines. A side road leads to an information shelter and a viewing area on top of the ridge among the Ten Mile Lagoon turbines.

There seems to be no public access to the vicinity of the Nine Mile Beach turbines.


Ten Mile Lagoon Wind Farm summary data
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Annual productionCommissionedLat.Long.
Operating90.2252.025 5.5 GWh1993S 33.82°E 121.79°


Further data on Ten Mile Lagoon Wind Farm...
Turbines
Rotation rate33 and 43 revolutions per minute
Productive wind speedsFrom 3.5 to 25 m/sec (12.6 to 90 km/hr)
Survival wind speed56 m/sec (202 km/hr)
Wind generatorsVestas V27
Turbine typeTwo speed, induction type
MechanicalGearbox (1:23.4)
ManufacturedDenmark/Australia
Tower height31.5m
Blade length13.5m
Capacity factor31%
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Updated 2013/07/24

Flat Rocks Wind Farm

Also known as Moonies Hill Wind Farm

 

Conditional approval given

On 2013/07/21 it was reported that the section of the wind farm in the Shire of Broomehill-Tambellup received condtional appoval.

Rejection by JDAP

The proposal was rejected by the Great Southern Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP) in early March 2013. Concern was expressed over the possible effects the turbines might have on farming practices.

NSW Farmers have released a Guide for farmers. Under 'Impact of farming activities', this document states "Host landholders generally find that wind farm development does not significantly impact farm operations."

Interestingly, "problems experienced in communities such as Waterloo in South Australia" were cited as justification for the decision. It happens that I am a member of the Community Liaison Group associated with the Waterloo Wind Farm and I have a property about 30km from it. There is a very small but very vocal group who have been stiring up opposition in the area, but in my opinion there are no real problems beyond some possible minor noise annoyance. Several of the noise complaints relate to properties at distances of 5 or even 10km. I have never even heard a wind turbine from a distance greater than 2.5km (correction, on 2013/07/07 I managed to just hear some turbines 3.0km away), and then only in near-ideal conditions. It has been claimed that homes have been abandoned at Waterloo due to the wind turbines, but when one looks into the details this is highly questionable.

A group calling itself Heartland Farmers in South Australia's Yorke Peninsula have also been claiming that a proposed wind farm there will heavily impact farming practices. So far as I can see, their claims are mostly false.

This project has been proposed by Moonies Hill Energy Pty Ltd (MHEPL, email info@mhenergy.com.au) who submitted a development application (DA) to the Shire of Kojonup on 19th of November 2010. Moonies is described in the DA as "a locally owned renewable energy development company." The Shire of Kojonup has a page on the proposal at "http://www.kojonup.wa.gov.au/Flat Rocks Wind Farm 2010".

Flat Rocks is described in the DA as being about 35km SE of Kojonup. The proposed wind farm will be between the Kojonup-Broomehill road and the Tambellup West road; the map in the DA indicates that the project will be around 20km SE of Kojonup. It will be about 125km north of Albany and 260km SE of Perth.

The Shire of Kojonup announced that they had approved the "Kojonup stage" of the flatrocks Wind Farm on 2011/11/23. It seems that this is being called "stage 1" and will "comprise 30 turbines, an electrical substation, and associated infrastructure in the Kojonup Shire." However, EnergyBusinessNews announced (2011/07/12) that Moonie Hill Energy "has withdrawn its development application with the Broomehill-Tambellup Shire after it emerged that existing town planning rules restrict the production of electricity on farmland". This is expected to be only a temporary setback.

It is intended that power from the farm will either go into a new 220kV line proposed for a new mine, or will join the existing 'SWIS' line at the Kojonup Substation via a purpose-built new 132kV line.



Summary data on Flat Rocks Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
Development application lodgedApp. 741.8 to 3.3Around 150 UnknownS 33.92°E 117.35°
The location above is that shown on the map in the development application


Further data on Flat Rocks Wind Farm
Approximate cost of developmentAus$400m
Tower heightUp to 90m
Blade lengthUp to 56m
Rotor diameter>Up to 112m
Height to tip of bladeUp to 146m
FootingReinforced concrete 15m diameter 1.5m high
The above figures will depend on the type and size of turbine decided upon
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This section written 2013/01/04

Fremantle Community Wind Farm

It is intended that this wind farm will surround the harbour on Rous Head. The project is being developed by the Fremantle Wind Farm network who have an informative Net site. The Net site states that "Development Approvals were granted by the City of Fremantle and the WA Planning Commission", but apparently these have since lapsed.

I gather that the main hurdles to getting the project up and running is that the Fremantle Port Authority has not cooperated.

Summary data, Fremantle Community Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
Proposed80.86.4 UndecidedApprox. S 32.050°E 115.733°

Additional data on Wind Farm
Hub height55m
Expected annual generation21GWh
Project costAus$16-18 million

In answer to my inquiry regarding the reason for the Ports Authority's opposition to the wind farm Jamie Ally of Fremantle Community Wind Farm provided the following:
The common written reason the FPA provides is pasted below. We have asked many times for the 'detailed assessment' they refer to, including via MP's in parliament, and through Freedom of Information channels. They refuse to release their analysis.
"we have undertaken a detailed assessment of the feasibility of a wind farm development within the port. This examined the likely risks and issues with regard to economic, technical, social and environmental factors. After consideration of the study findings, the Fremantle Ports Board concluded that the potential benefits did not justify the risk of creating opposition amongst our customers, tenants, the community and other key stakeholders as a result of the real or perceived impacts of a wind farm located in close proximity to port workplaces and local communities. On this basis, the Fremantle Ports Board determined that it is not in the best interests of the business to support a wind farm development within the Port."
One would have to wonder how the Ports Authority can justify their refusal to release their analysis? I wonder too what weight the Authority placed on combating climate change?





 
Updated 2012/04/06

Grasmere Wind Farm

Also see Albany Wind Farm

Verve Energy proposed that this wind farm be built immediately to the west of the existing Albany Wind Farm. It will consist of six Enercon E-70 turbines, and when completed will appear to be a continuation of Albany Wind Farm.

Craig Carter of Verve Energy gave me the following update on 2011/12/12: "All six Enercon 2.3MW E-70 wind turbines have been installed are are undergoing trial operation. All are running but power is limited to 5MW in total until the communications and control systems are completed in early 2012. The Grasmere Wind Farm (13.8MW) is next to the Albany Wind Farm and the two appear as one wind farm. The only difference is that the new turbines are a slightly darker grey colour and the new Enercon blades are an aerofoil shape to the hub. The new farm is on higher ground and will have a slightly better capacity factor as a consequence.

I think that the Albany community will call the two wind farms the Albany Wind Farm.

On 2012/04/05 Craig informed me by email of the completion of the wind farm.

Verve have a Net page on the project. It includes a live Web cam that can be controlled by the viewer; fascinating stuff!

Grasmere Wind Farm - summary data
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW CompletionLat.Long.
Operating62.313.82012/02/24S 35.06° E 117.73°





Hopetoun Wind Farm

 
Updated 2010/07/29
The Hopetoun Wind Farm is situated 5km north of the town of the same name on the south coast between Albany and Esperance, and is owned and operated by Verve Energy.

This wind farm consists of two 600kW Enercon E-40 wind turbines and is part of a hybrid wind-diesel power system. The wind turbines supply around 40% of Hopetoun's electricity.



Hopetoun Wind Farm summary data
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW CommissionedLat.Long.
Operating20.61.2 2004 and 2006Approx. S 33.95°E 120.12°
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Kalbarri Wind Farm

 
Edited 2013/08/27
This wind farm was built by Verve Energy. Verve Energy call this a mini-wind farm; it consists of two 800kW Enercon E-48 wind turbines. Verve Energy states that, together with voltage control equipment, the facility should improve the quality of the local electricity supply and increase its load capacity by about 15%.


Kalbarri Wind Farm summary data
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Completion dateLat.Long.
Operating20.81.6 28 July 2008Approx. S 27.90°E 114.17°
I visited Kalbarri on 2013/08/27 and was told the "turbines are near the chook farm, 20km south of town".
I was not able to locate them on Google Earth.

The ABC reported on July 3rd 2007 that the two wind turbine sites were moved to cleared land (a distance of 150m) because of a rare species of orchid.

The ABC again reported on the wind farm on 28th July 2008 saying that it had been opened, its total cost was Au$5m ($2m of which came from the Commonwealth Government), and that it was expected to "meet a third of Kalbarri's power needs and offset about 5 000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year."

Powercorp were also involved in the development of this project, supplying voltage control equipment.

Kalbarri also has a 20kW photovoltaic system, consisting of 256 panels. The angle of the panels used to be automatically adjusted six time a day to follow the sun as it crossed the sky, but the panels were later fixed in a single position.

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Altered 2011/10/03

Mount Barker Wind Farm

 
Mt Barker Wind Farm
Image credit Peter Auer of SkyFarming
Mount Barker Community Wind Farm is owned 100% by Mt Barker Power Company Pty Ltd, which has a Net site about the project. MBPCPL is owned by twelve share holders. The Mt Barker Power Company is associated with SkyFarming Pty Ltd, which is connected with the Denmark Wind Farm proposal.

Directors of SkyFarming with whom I have communicated are Andrew Woodroffe and Peter Auer (Site Manager for Mount Barker).

This wind farm is on a hill on a private sheep farm four kilometres north of Mount Barker on the Western Side of Albany Highway. Three Enercon E53, 800kW turbines have been erected. Andrew informed me by email on 2011/03/26 that the turbines "are now spinning". There are photos on the Net page.

The ABC has reported this as "Australia's first community wind farm", and it was operational several months before Hepburn Wind Farm, but there seems to be no clear definition of what constitutes a 'community wind farm'. See my notes on Community wind farm, or not? elsewhere.)

Congratulations to all involved; inspirational stuff.

Mount Barker Wind Farm summary data
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW EnergisationLat.Long.
Operating30.82.4 Late March 2011S 34.60°E 117.65°

Additional data on Mount Barker Wind Farm
Tower height73m
Project costAus$8.5m
CompletionMarch 2011
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Updated 2013/08/28

Mumbida Wind Farm

This is a 50/50 joint venture between Macquarie and Verve Energy; Verve has a Net page on the project.

 

Update 2013/08/28

The "premier open day" was scheduled for 2013/09/27.
A Planning Application was submitted to the City of Geraldton-Greenough before July 2009. The project won a 30-year operating licence from WA's Economic Regulation Authority in late March 2011.

The project is being built 25-40km south-east of Geraldton and 210km north of Perth.

Power-technology.com stated (2012/06/23) that "The entire output of the wind farm will be purchased by Water Corporation to offset the energy requirements of the recently commissioned Binningup Desalination Plant." The same article said that the wind farm would offset 200 000 tonnes of greenhouse gasses annually.

There were objections from the owners of the nearby Emu Downs Wind Farm on the grounds that the power grid did not have sufficient capacity for another wind farm in the area, but these were over-ruled.

The Engineer (on the Net) carried an article on 2011/06/21 stating that "A consortium including US conglomerate General Electric (GE) and Australian company Leighton Contractors has received a contract, worth [Aus]$130m, to supply and install 22 GE 2.5-100 wind turbines for the Mumbida Wind Farm." GE will also provide mainenance for ten years.

Mumbida Wind Farm summary data
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW CompletedLat.Long.
Operating222.555 2013/04/09 (see below)Approx. S 28.95°E 114.96°
Number and rating of turbines received from Craig Carter of Verve Energy 2011/04/04.
2013/04/09 was given as the date when the 'last turbine went live' in the West Australian article mentioned above.
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Altered 2010/01/20

Nilgen Wind Farm

This wind farm is proposed by Pacific Hydro and was approved in December 2009. The proposed location is on a ridgeline approximately 9km east of Lancelin and 100km NNW of Perth. More precisely Pacific Hydro's Planning Application states that "the site runs approximately 10km from Dingo Road in the north to just north of Sappers Road in the south".

Pacific Hydro's page on this wind farm can be accessed via their home page.

It is expected that the project will have an operational life of 30 years.

Nilgen Wind Farm summary data
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dueLat.Long.
ApprovedUp to 53Up to 2.5Up to 132.5 UndecidedApprox. S 31.02°E 115.42°

Further data on Nilgen Wind Farm
Project
Greenhouse gas abatementEstimated 500 000 tonnes per annum
CostAus$280 million
Annual generationUp to 480 GWh expected
Turbines
TowersUp to 90m high, tubular
BladesThree, up to 48m long
Rotor diameterUp to 96m
Blade tip max. heightUp to 138m
Foundation15m diameter, 1.5m high, reinforced concrete
HardstandCrane hardstand approx. 22m x 40m
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Updated 2011/04/04

Rottnest Island Wind Farm

As there is only a single turbine the use of the term 'wind farm' is inacurate, I have used it for simplicity in indexing in these pages.

 
Rottnest turbine
Rottnest Island turbine
This wind farm, consisting of a single Enercon E-40 turbine and belonging to the Rottnest Island Authority, is situated on the popular tourism island about fifteen kilometres off the coast at Perth. The project cost was Aus$3 million.

Craig Carter of Verve Energy informed me by email on 2011/04/04 that "Verve Energy was the principal contractor for the project to install the wind turbine, re-automate the existing diesel power station, add two 320kW low load diesels to increase wind penetration and to automate the control of the desal plant to use excess wind energy for water production."

According to the Rottnest Island Authority, the wind turbine produces about 35% of the power needed on the island. Wind turbines had been tried unsuccessfully some years ago, but until the installation of the current one, the island had been reliant on diesel-generated power.



Rottnest Island Wind Farm summary data
Status# TurbinesMW Completion dateLat.Long.
Operating10.6 September 2006S 32.00°E 115.54°
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Walkaway Wind Farm

Sometimes called Alinta Wind Farm

 
Walkaway Wind Farm
Walkaway WF, Julie Burgher
Image credit: Julie Burgher, sunphlo, Flickr
This wind farm is 30km SE of Geraldton, about 12km from the coast, and 370km north of Perth.

This farm was owned by Alinta, now Babcock and Brown. (Babcock and Brown was replaced by Infigen.)

I have been informed that this wind farm has the, so far as I know, otherwise unheard of capacity factor of 47%. This means that the amount of electricity generated is 47% of the rated capacity of the wind farm. A more typical capacity factor is 30%; 33% is the average for most Eastern Australian wind farms. Miles George of Babcock and Brown Wind Partners also informed me that this c.f. is the best for all of B&B's 79 wind farms.

Infigen may have sold this wind farm.



Walkaway Wind Farm summary data
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW CommissionedLat.Long.
Operating541.6589.1 April 2006S 28.90°E 114.89°


Further data...
Wind resource
Average wind speeds5.5-7 m/sec in the cooler months, 7-10 m/sec Oct. to March
(20-25 km/hr in the cooler months, 25-35 km/hr Oct. to March)


Turbines
TypeNEG Micon NM82 - 1.65MW
Expected life25 years
Rotation rate14.4 revolutions per minute
Productive wind speedsFrom 3.9 to 18 m/sec (14 to 65 km/hr)
Wind speed at which maximum output reached11-15 m/sec
Tower height78m
Tower weight130 tonnes
Tower materialSteel
Rotor diameter82m
Blade lengthApprox. 40m
Blade materialFibreglass
Blade weight7.5 tonnes


Project
Project costAus$210 million


Productivity
Annual generation367 GWh
Greenhouse gas savingEstimated at 400 000 tonnes CO2 p.a.
Capacity factor47% net
Power exportVia existing 132kV transmission line
Some of the data in this table came from the Alinta Net site mentioned above, and some from Miles George of B&B Wind Partners. Corrections were received from Verve Energy.
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Warradarge Wind Farm


The West Australian announced on 2012/07/06 that state-owned Verve is planning to build this wind farm, which will be the state's biggest, 270km north of Perth. It was expected that the wind farm will be built in three stages between 2014 and 2020.

Summary data on Warradarge Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
ProposedUp to 100?250 2014S 30.07°E 115.31°
The coordinates above are those of the township of Warradarge

Further data on Warradarge Wind Farm
Expected cost$600m
Height to tip of blade152m
Greenhouse CO2 abatementAt least 700 000 tonnes annually
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Edited 2013/08/27

Other operating wind farms in WA

NameNo. turbineskW each Total MWComments
Karakin10 5005 Partnership between Sumich and Blair Fox
Sumich10 5005 Owned by the Sumich company. 75% to 85% of the power is used on-site.

I thank Antoine Le-Ray for informing me about the existence of these small wind farms and Vincent Tana, General Manager of Sumich, for further information. Both wind farms are near Lancelin. All turbines are Enercon E-40s with 44m towers, 22m blades and no gear-boxes; all were previously operating in Europe and were in very good condition when received.

One of these is at about Latitude 30.39, Longitude 115.08.

Sumich or Karakin
Karakin or Sumich wind farm
Photographed from the Cervantes to Jurien Bay road





Minor wind farms in WA

Less than 1MW and at least 20kW

 
Updated 2010/07/29
This list quite probably does not include all the 'wind farms' within the above range, and there would certainly be many small wind generators below the 20kW level that are not mentioned on this page. These pages, Wind in the Bush, are predominantly concerned with large, utility scale, generators.

All these farms are operating, all capacity figures are in kilowatts
Alphabetical order
Location/nameDeveloperOwnerConnection
or purpose
Year
commissioned
Turbine
make
Turbine
capacity
No.
turbines
Total
capacity
ArmadaleSteel Dale IndustriesSteel Dale IndustriesGrid 1997Westwind30130
Cocos (Keeling) Island Power Corp/Diesel & Wind Systems Power Corp/Diesel & Wind SystemsWind/diesel 2005Westwind20480
Exmouth AdvancedWestern PowerHorizon PowerSmall grid 2002Westwind20360
MurdochRISERISEResearch 2000Westwind20120
Swan ValleyWestern PowerNyungar CommunityGrid 1998Westwind10220
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Other proposed wind farms

 
Updated 2012/02/08
In addition to the wind farms detailed above several others have been proposed (table below).

If and when these wind farms look likely to be built, and as I get more information, I will write them up in more detail. If any readers have information concerning these wind farms I would appreciate a note, my email address is at the top of this page.

Until a wind farm gets at least to the point where an application for approval has been submitted to the relevant authority it may be little more than wishfull thinking and is not worth covering in more detail than that below.



Wind farms that have been proposed in WA

All capacities are in megawatts, alphabetical order
Project nameSponsoring CompanyConnectionTurbine
make
No.
turbines
Turbine
capacity
Total
capacity
Status Location
Augusta Ratch-Australia Corporation???? ?ProposedNear Augusta
CarnarvonHorizon Power Wind/diesel??? 5.0Proposed780km N of Perth
Milyeannup VerveGridGE232.5 55.0ProposedNear Augusta
Walkaway 2 InfigenGrid???94 Dev. applic. completedGeraldton
Williams Semaphore EnergyGrid?693? 210?ProposedWilliams





Links

IMOWA; "The Independent Market Operator, (WA) was established in Western Australia in December 2004 after a government initiative to privatise the electricity industry and open the market up to wider competition. The market, referred to as the WEM (Wholesale Electricity Market), commenced on 21 September 2006."

Current wind power generation on the SWIS (South West Interconnected System)

Other links are in appropriate places throughout the text of this page.






Index


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On this page...
Albany Wind Farm
Alinta Wind Farm
Augusta Wind Farm
Badgingarra Wind Farm
Bremer Bay Wind Farm
Carnarvon Wind Farm
Clifton Wind Farm
Cocos Island Wind Farm
Collgar Wind Farm
Contents
Coral Bay Wind Farm
Coronation Wind Farm
Dandaragan Wind Farm
Denham Wind Farm
Denmark Wind Farm
Emu Downs Wind Farm
Esperance wind farms
Flat Rocks Wind Farm
Grasmere Wind Farm
Hopetoun Wind Farm
Introduction
Kalbarri Wind Farm
Karakin Wind Farm
Links
Merredin Wind Farm
Milyeannup Wind Farm
Minor WA wind farms
Moonies Hill Wind Farm
Mount Barker Wind Farm
Mumbida Wind Farm
Nilgen Wind Farm
Nine Mile Beach Wind Farm
Operating WA wind farms
Other operating wind farms
Other proposed wind farms
Phillips River Wind Farm
Rottnest Island Wind Farm
Salmon Beach Wind Farm
Sumich Wind Farm
Ten Mile Lagoon Wind Farm
Top
Waddi Wind Farm
Walkaway 2 Wind Farm
Walkaway Wind Farm
Warradarge Wind Farm
WA Farmers Federation on wind power
WA wind farms
WA wind farm generation figures
Williams Wind Farm
Wind farms by location
Wind farms by region
Wind power generation in WA
Wind power in WA
Yandin Wind Farm
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