Prince of Denmark inspects construction of Macarthur wind farm

His Royal Highness the Crown Prince together with Danish Trade and Investment Minister Pia Olsen Dyhr concluded a busy week promoting Danish exports with a flying visit to the construction site of the 420 megawatt Macarthur wind farm today.

The visit was hosted by President and CEO of Vestas, Ditlev Engel and Michael Fraser, CEO of AGL Energy Limited. The Macarthur wind power project is being jointly developed by AGL and Meridian Energy. Situated in south-west Victoria, Australia, the site will consist of 140 V112-3.0 MW win turbines and is being delivered by a Vestas/Leighton Contractors consortium. Construction has already begun and the first turbine is being erected this week.

Their Royal Highnesses the Crown Prince Couple have spent the week in Australia leading a trade delegation under the banner of ‘State of Green – Join the Future. Think Denmark’.

They have participated in a series of business and cultural events with the purpose of promoting Denmark and Danish businesses in Australia. Ditlev Engel has also been part of the delegation and has participated in a large number of events and meetings with customers and political stakeholders.

His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and Minister Dyhr took a tour of the construction site at Macarthur, and later met with local residents and schoolchildren to discuss the project and the importance of renewable energy for the future of our planet.

The green light was given to the Macarthur project following reforms in June 2010 to Australia’s 20% Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme, which is designed to deliver on the Government’s commitment to ensure that 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity supply will come from renewable sources by 2020.

Once operational, the Macarthur Wind Farm will have the capacity to power more than 220,000 average Victorian homes and abate more than 1.7 million tonnes of greenhouse gases every year – the equivalent of taking more than 420,000 cars off the road each year.

Ditlev Engel also used the occasion to congratulate Australia’s Parliament for passing landmark laws to impose a price on carbon emissions, due to begin on 1 July 2012.

Ditlev Engel said: ”Australia has shown leadership in pricing carbon and we are confident other G20 nations will also deliver on similar reforms to encourage green growth.” The carbon price will give companies a financial incentive to curb greenhouse gas emissions, and will help Australia reach its goal to cut emissions by 5 percent from year 2000 levels by 2020.