Tasmania’s largest wind farm was officially opened on Wednesday by Premier Lara Giddings.
The 168-megawatt Musselroe Wind Farm consists of 56 Vestas wind turbines and is joint venture operated by Shenhua Clean Energy and Hydro Tasmania.
According to Hydro Tasmania, the wind farm is generating enough energy to supply the needs of up to 50,000 homes; equivalent to the residential power needs of Burnie and Devonport combined.
Construction of the wind farm began in December 2011. It has been generating electricity since April 2013 and the full 56 turbines have progressively been brought into operation since that time.
Hydro Tasmania Chairman David Crean has spoken of the importance of the Renewable Energy Target in relation to the project.
“The Musselroe project has only been made possible because of the national Renewable Energy Target (RET), which began in 2001 under the Howard Government and has been supported by successive federal governments since.”
“The RET is a key driver for investment in wind farms as well as for the refurbishment and upgrade of our existing hydro plant.”
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive David Green agrees.
“The $394 million Musselroe Wind Farm has employed Tasmanians in construction jobs since 2011, and the steel towers for the project were manufactured locally in Launceston,” he said.
“But the jobs and investment in Tasmania would not have been possible without the Renewable Energy Target, which is supporting the development of new clean energy projects right across Australia.”
Mr Green says the Renewable Energy Target has already generated more than $18 billion in investment for Australia; including the 2 million plus small scale renewable energy systems installed on rooftops of homes and businesses throughout the country.
This year sees yet another review of the RET, with initial signals from Prime Minister Abbott being less than encouraging – a situation that is negatively affecting investment in new major renewable energy projects in Australia.