South Australia’s 11th Wind Farm Opened

South Australian Premier Mike Rann opened Pacific Hydro’s Clements Gap wind farm near Crystal Brook in the state’s Mid-North last Friday.
The 56.7MW project comprises of 27 x 2.1MW Suzlon wind turbines, 17 km of permanent access roads, 15.5km of 132kV power line and a 33/132kV transformer.
The Clements Gap Wind farm will  produce enough power for the equivalent of about 30,000 homes, avoiding around 200,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere each year through coal-fired power generation.
Mr Rann stated that South Australia now has a total wind power generation capacity of 868 megawatts.
“That means – with just eight per cent of Australia’s population – we have more wind power capacity than the other States combined. It’s a fantastic achievement, given that in 2002 we didn’t have a single operational wind turbine in South Australia.”
The project employed a total of 425 people, with all contractors South Australian-based. Clements Gap wind farm will inject over $1 million dollars into local community organisations over the life of the project. 
“We want to secure the jobs of the future, and through green industries such as wind power, we will reach our goal of generating 33 per cent of South Australia’s power from renewable sources by 2020.” said Premier Rann.
The Clements Gap site was chosen because of its consistent winds, simple grid connection, easy construction access and strong community support. The project was granted planning approval by Port Pirie Regional Council in mid-2003 and was Pacific Hydro’s first wind farm to begin construction in South Australia.
Pacific Hydro says it is hoping to start on another two South Australian wind energy projects, but  further investment is stalled by the issues plaguing the Federal Renewable Energy Target (RET) legislation.