Work has begun on Meridian Energy's 98 MW Wattle Point Wind Farm on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. The project has been on hold following opposition by Aboriginal communities, who say the land has particular cultural significance. Aboriginal affairs minister Terry Roberts decided to give the go ahead to Meridian, a New Zealand company, on the condition that two cultural sites on the land are protected. TimeMap heritage consultants and the Narungga Heritage Committee have conducted cultural awareness training for the initial construction crew before the construction work started. Being developed under Meridian's Southern Hydro banner, the wind farm will comprise 55 Vestas 1.65 MW turbines under a deal secured by NEG Micon before the two Danish companies merged. Planning approval has also been granted for a further four turbines. "We are expecting the construction to be very straightforward," says Meridian's Alan Seay. The project is scheduled for completion by April 2005, with the first shipment of turbines from Denmark on the way.
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