Hydro Tasmania plans 600MW island project

AUSTRALIA: Renewables developer Hydro Tasmania is making a feasibility study into the construction of a 600MW wind farm on King Island, Tasmania.

The project would be developed on King Island, off northern Tasmania. King Island already has a small project consisting of three 250kW Nordex turbines, which were installed in 1998.

Hydro Tasmania chairman David Crean said initial studies had indicated the project would work from an economic and technological perspective. He also said the regional government supported wind development.

The company said the project would use around 200 3MW turbines. King Island is located near the Roaring Forties west-to-east air currents, which have an average wind speed of 8-12 m/s.

If developed, the project would require a transmission line across the Bass Strait to connect it to the Australian mainline. The next step is a public consultation.

Speaking about the project, Crean said: "While sitting in the path of the world-class wind resource that is the Roaring Forties makes King Island the perfect location for such a project, it is important to emphasise that it is very early days."

Earlier this year, Hydro Tasmania sold 75% of the 168MW Musselroe wind farm to the Guohua Energy Investment Corporation.

The Musselroe wind farm, located in the north-eastern corner of Tasmania with rich wind resources, went into construction at the end of 2011. It is expected to go into operation in June 2013.