Thursday, 24 April 2008

Wind turbines to supply power to Antarctic bases

Radio New Zealand
20 Apr 2008

Wind power engineers are preparing for the challenging task of building a mini windfarm in Antarctica. Three turbines are to be put up in polar conditions to supply electricity to New Zealand's Scott Base and America's McMurdo Station. The joint Antarctica New Zealand and Meridian Energy project is due to get underway in November, with power starting to flow in early 2010. Meridian Energy says wind on the continent is reliable, and can reach speeds of up to 237 kilometres per hour. The wind power is predicted to reduce the fuel consumption on Ross Island by 11%, or 463,000 litres. Special turbines, which will have to cope with temperatures ranging from minus 40°C to 3°C, are being made in Germany and will be shipped to Antarctica. Plans for the wind farm started in 2005.