A delegation of engineers, professors and government officials from the Chinese province of Hainan recently visited Stanwell Corporation's Windy Hill wind farm on the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland. The delegation was in Australia to explore renewable energy options as part of an overall visit to assess environmental management strategies for sustainable development. The visit was co-ordinated by the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research, a private consulting organisation that provides services to public and private industry sectors. Windy Hill is Australia's largest wind farm so far. The 12 MW first stage came on-line in 2000 and comprises 20 Enercon turbines. Phase two, an additional 13 MW, has reached the stage of final approval and construction is expected to start mid-year. Stanwell, a state government operation, made a commitment in 1999 to derive 25% of its revenue from non-coal sources -- gas, solar, wind, hydro and biomass -- over the ensuing five years. The Chinese visitors also took in Stanwell's Barron Gorge Hydro project. The group was particularly interested in examples of renewable energy projects in Far North Queensland because Hainan Province, an island off the southern coast of China, has similar climate and geographical features.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol