Thursday, 15 November 2012

Snowtown welcomes windfarm
31 Oct 2012

Communities surrounding the $439 million 90 turbine Stage II Snowtown , Barunga Gap, wind farm are excited to see development begin. At the official ceremony to turn the first sod on Thursday, community members, Snowtown Lions Club representatives and other landowners joined the celebration.

Ros Large and Fay Welke from the Snowtown Lions Club said the support they received from TrustPower's community funding went a long way. "We think the wind farm is absolutely wonderful", Mrs Large said. The Lions Club hosted a number of TrustPower employees and executives last Wednesday night. "No one disagrees with windfarms in this area,.. their community funding helps us with the Lend A Hand program that helps anyone or any organisation who needs it", she said.

Some landowners give up some of their land up for a turbine or two, while others are involved in a less direct way. Colwyn Millard is part of a native grasslands revegitation program. At his South Hummocks property, he is growing native grasses to revegetate the land that is changed for the turbines. Wakefield Regional Council Mayor James Maitland said there was little negativity toward the windfarms in the area and he commended the work and support of New Zealand company TrustPower which built Snowtown I four years ago. TrustPower has appointed Siemens to build Snowtown II wind farm.

Once complete the wind farm will have the capabilities of generating a further 270 MWs of renewable power for South Australia. With the build of the new Snowtown II wind farm, Snowtown as a region will boast a combined renewable energy generation total of up to 370 MWs.

"Snowtown is a perfect location for renewable wind generation. From the time we first considered the Snowtown site we have been delighted with the willingness of landowners, the community and local authorities to work with TrustPower to make this investment in the state of South Australia possible", TrustPower chief executive Vince Hawksworth said.

Siemens Australia CEO and managing director Jeff Connolly said the wind farm took renewable energy generation in Australia to the next level. "The rotor blades are superior-cast in one-piece they are structurally and aerodynamically best suited for strong wind conditions. This combined with the world's most efficient gearless direct-drive wind technology, will deliver a wind farm amongst the most technically-advanced and most economically efficient in Australia", he said.

Mr Connolly went on to say that it was a huge milestone not only for Siemens but in South Australia", he said. Bruce Harker from TrustPower said the company was an experienced developer. "It is the sixth development and will be the largest. Although they are a small company TrustPower will also work hard to ensure their commitment to community projects, they will work hard with the local groups, to give back to the community", he said.

Representing Premier Jay Weatherill, Minister for Industrial Relation Russell Wortley turned the first sod. "Wind power is an increasingly critical part of the world's energy mix and is an accelerator in the move towards the more sustainable new electricity age", he said. A guest of honour at the ceremony was the Danish Ambassador to, Borge Petersen.