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NZ Trustpower Plans $100m Wind Farm For Myponga

NZ Trustpower Plans $100m Wind Farm For Myponga, Adelaide, Australia

An application to build a $100 million wind farm on South Australia's Fleurieu Peninsula has been lodged with the Development Assessment Commission.

The proposal by New Zealand power supplier, TrustPower Ltd, is for 34 wind turbines to be located in the hills around Mt Terrible and Mt Jeffcott near Myponga. The turbines will provide 60MW of electricity-enough to power about 30,000 average South Australian homes.

TrustPower has an annual turnover of around $500 million and already operates one of the biggest wind farms in the Southern Hemisphere, at Tararua in New Zealand and owns more than 30 hydro generation stations.

The company's business development manager, Mr Rodney Ahern, said the Myponga site was recognised as one of the best wind farm locations in Australia due to the strength and constancy of the wind, and its proximity to Adelaide.

It would be the second such wind farm in the Yankalilla area, adding to the Starfish Hill project where construction has already started.

"The additional generation in this area will help reduce power shortages, thus enabling industrial and commercial expansion not otherwise possible," Mr Ahern said.

Although the project would not directly lower electricity prices, it would help slow down future price rises and help supply much needed electricity to support growth in South Australia.

"This project will also play a role in helping the Federal Government meet its renewable energy targets, and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 190,000 tonnes a year-the equivalent of emissions from around 26,000 cars," he said.

South Australia would benefit economically from the project, with up to $90 million of the total construction cost being spent locally if the State Government succeeded in attracting an international turbine manufacturer. The ongoing operational spend on the project, in wages and maintenance costs, would be up to $50 million over the life of the project.

Up to 30 people would be employed during the construction phase of the project, with around eight people employed on an ongoing basis. The establishment of a local wind turbine manufacturing operation, which depended on having enough local wind farm sites to make it viable, would create up to 600 new jobs.

Mr Ahern said a great deal of attention had been paid to environmental and visual issues and extensive community consultation had led to the number of wind turbines being halved from what was originally proposed. The turbine towers would now be spaced at greater intervals and be less visually intrusive as a result.

The application had also fully addressed noise issues, the potential impact on flora and fauna and site remediation when the wind farm was eventually decommissioned.

Ends

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