South Australia set to pass 1000 megawatts of wind energy

Mr Rann says this combined investment by private energy companies in wind farms across the State since this Government was elected in 2002 is now nearly $2 billion.

“There are currently has two more wind farm projects under construction with a combined capacity of 150 megawatts (MW).

“These projects are Infigen Energy’s 39 MW Stage 3 wind farm project at Lake Bonney and Roaring 40s 111 MW Stage 1 wind farm project at Waterloo. Both are expected to be commissioned by July this year.

“These wind farms will add to the 868 MW of wind power generation already installed – which means that total wind turbines generation will pass the 1000 MW mark in July.

“This is another step toward realising our targets. We expect to meet the first target – having 20 per cent of electricity generated in the State coming from renewables – ahead of our 2014 schedule.

“We are also well on the way to achieving our next target of having 33 per cent of electricity generated in South Australia coming from renewables by 2020, meeting California’s ambitious target.

“If South Australia were a nation State – it would rank second in the world behind only Denmark in the amount of wind energy it hosts as a proportion of its total electricity generation. “We have the sites and the wind resource to host much more.

“We have set ourselves up to become the engine room of Australia’s wind energy industry. “Our renewable energy achievements are good news for the environment and our economy. “We have a RenewablesSA Board working to bring further investment into South Australia.

“The State Government is investing in a Sustainable Technologies Precinct at the former Mitsubishi site at Tonsley Park that will help to further maximise job opportunities and economic benefits from renewable energy and clean technology industries, including advanced manufacturing.

“The Macquarie Green Grid study, commissioned by the Government, indicates that the Eyre Peninsula has the sites and wind resource to host a further 2,000 MW of conventional wind generation turbines operating above 35 per cent capacity – the threshold needed to operate economically.

“The installed capacity on Eyre Peninsula alone could potentially be much higher using new, high-yield wind turbines. “However, we must first have the ability to link these extra wind farms to the national electricity grid – so that they can deliver green power to eastern seaboard markets.

“The Green Grid study is intended to help attract the transmission investment required. “It’s a positive sign that the National Electricity Market Operator (AEMO) and SA transmission network company, ElectraNet, are conducting their own feasibility study into transmission development options. “This will help to further unlock South Australia’s extensive renewable energy resources,” Mr Rann said.