Clean Power australia wind farm

Published on February 14th, 2014 | by Guest Contributor


600 MW Ceres Wind Farm Approved For South Australia

February 14th, 2014 by  

Originally published on RenewEconomy.
By Sophie Vorrath.

The South Australian government has given approval for the development of a $1.5 billion, 197 turbine wind farm on the Yorke Peninsula in the state’s west.

A wind farm in rural Australia.
Image Credit: kwest/Shutterstock.

Managed by Senvion Australia for the Suzlon Group, the 600MW Ceres Project – which would be the largest in the southern hemisphere if built – has been approved subject to conditions relating to its construction, operation and infrastructure, including the laying of under-sea transmission cabling that would connect to Adelaide’s metropolitan electricity grid from Port Julia to St Kilda.

In a statement published on the Ceres Project website on Wednesday, the company said that final wind farm layout and conditions for approval included rigorous environmental protections.

“Development approval is a very important milestone for this project and we will now concentrate on completing the connection approval and finalising commercial feasibility,” said Peter Sgardelis, head of development for Senvion Australia.

In an interview with RenewEconomy on Thursday, Senvion Australia managing director, Chris Judd, explained that while most of the conditions of the approval were consistent with past wind developments – and there have been many of them; Senvion has been operating in Australia for 10 years (mostly in its former incarnation, REpower Australia) with over 900MW of wind energy capacity installed over 14 wind farm projects, six in South Australia) – there are a few “more of them” in the context of the Ceres Project, due to the use of underground cabling and the size of the project.

As for the commercial feasibility, Judd said the outcome of the federal government’s RET review would play an important part in how the project matures, both in terms of firming up finance and securing a power purchase agreement (PPA).

“A big portion of that will be influenced by how the RET policy review is undertaken,” said Judd. “We need long-term stable policy from the government to ensure the revenue streams are there for the project.”

But Judd added that the industry had been encouraged by recent comments by Prime Minister Tony Abbott suggesting “appropriately sited” wind energy would be part of Australia’s future energy mix.

On this front, Sgardelis says the company has engaged in months of talks with the local community, including comprehensive consultation with 36 separate landowners.

“We’ve continually listened to the community since we announced the project in 2011,” he said. “We’ve imposed 1.3km setbacks, 600 metre spacing between turbines, no overhead power lines, we’ve adjusted the final layout to address community concerns and we have a policy of ‘prudent avoidance’ in design.”

Senvion (formerly REpower Australia) hopes to commence development later this year, creating up to 500 jobs during construction and 50 full-time maintenance and service jobs during the 25-year life of the project. It will also invest $200,000 a year in a community fund and local fire-fighting projects.

The project is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2016, at which time it would be able to power the equivalent of 225,000 South Australian homes a year.

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  • $1.5 billion for 600mw nameplate: but what’s the real power output over a year? What’s the reliability factor on any given day? If it’s not baseload, what’s the point? What would be the real cost to make this baseload and reliable, especially as EV’s start to become more popular and need charging overnight?

    • Ronald Brakels

      It will produce about 2,100,000,000 kilowatt-hours a year at under 5 cents a kilowatt-hour using a 5% discount rate. That’s less than a third of the minimum price for electricity from the Hinkley C nuclear plant and the wind farm will be producing electricity for at least seven years before Hinkley C opens. And in South Australia we don’t have baseload generation half the year.

      • Wayne Williamson

        In a perfect world it would product 5.256 tera watts a year….(24x365x(600x1000x1000))

    • Matt

      EV charging at night matches nicely with wind. Would you rather add a nice gas power plant? But wait those are closing in Oz because with LNG exports they can not afford the gas.

  • Richard Mann

    Health impacts are real:, and documented in medical journals: British Medial Journal: Canadian Family Physician:

    Turbines are too big and too close. In Ontario they are as close as 550m (1800ft, 1/3 mile). And a few even closer than that. These are enormous industrial machines, now between 1 and 2MW. 1MW = one million watts of power. Do you realize how big a motor/generator that is? Take a look at one up close sometime. How would you like that machine near your house.

  • driveby


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