Wind energy, new baseload’ in South Australia

"This wind power project will consolidate South Australia as the leading state in the nation for wind energy generation," Mr Purches said.

Wind power in Australia: mega South Australia’s wind farm. A wind energy plant with 90 wind turbines in the Mid North will be South Australia’s largest if a new plan goes ahead.

Trustpower this week lodged an application for the second stage of its wind farm near Snowtown that would see 90 wind turbines added to the existing 47 wind turbines across the landscape of the Hummock and Barunga Ranges. Each wind turbine will be capable of generating 3 MW of power each – enough to power about 3000 homes for a year.

If approved by the Essential Services Commission of South Australia, the wind turbines will produce the equivalent of 10 per cent of South Australia’s current electricity consumption, Trustpower community relations manager Graeme Purches said yesterday.

"This wind power project will consolidate South Australia as the leading state in the nation for renewable energy generation," Mr Purches said. "The power produced by the new stage two development will supply the needs of 170,000 homes."

The new wind energy project is expected to be completed by 2014 and built at a cost understood to be about $400 million. Mr Purches said once the second stage was completed, the wind farm would save 700,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year. He said local residents were "pretty enthusiastic" about the wind energy project.

Origin Energy will purchase 100 per cent of the power generated by the new development in its biggest wind purchase agreement. South Australia wind farms account for half the nation’s wind power.

Wind power in Australia

1997: 4 MW
1998: 9 MW (+125 %)
1999: 9 MW (- %)
2000: 30 MW (+233.4 %)
2001: 71 MW (+136.7 %)
2002: 103 MW (+45.1 %)
2003: 197 MW (+91.3 %)
2004: 379 MW (+92.4 %)
2005: 579 MW (+52.8 %)
2006: 817 MW (+41.2 %)
2007: 817 MW (- %)
2008: 1,494 MW (+82.9 %)
2009: 1,712 MW (+14.6 %)
2010: 2,020 MW (+18 %)
2011: 2,224 MW (+10.1 %)