Queensland approves 34.5 MW project

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Tarong Energy, a Queensland government owned generator, has gained approval for a 34.5 MW wind farm north of Cape Jervis on South Australia's Fleurieu Peninsula. The A$65 million Starfish Hill wind farm, to be owned by the South Australia government, will begin construction this month and be fully commissioned by early 2003. The order for the 23, 1.5 MW turbines has gone to NEG Micon, for delivery during the course of this year. In the project announcement last month, South Australia energy minister Patrick Conlon stated that it was a significant commitment to renewable energy. The project gained approval because it met strict visual and environmental criteria. The project cost includes the construction of an above ground 25 kilometre 66 kV cable from the site to ETSA Utilities' substation at Cape Jervis. Tarong Energy says the improvement to transmission infrastructure provides tangible benefits to nearby towns and Kangaroo Island as it brings forward, by six years, ETSA's long term plans to upgrade transmission in the area. The project should supply enough electricity for 18,000 South Australian homes accounting for 2% of the state's residential electricity customers. Over its 25year life span the wind farm is expected to offset 2.1 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions that would otherwise have come from coal fired electricity generation.

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