New consortium to make wind turbines

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A consortium of three companies, Renewable Energy Australasia Pacific (REAP), German engineering giant Siemens, and Dutch wind company Lagerwey have announced Australia's first full scale wind plant manufacturing facility. The consortium will make Lagerwey turbines and components for both domestic and export markets. An initial order of 50 generators will be exported to Japan, Korea, the USA and Europe.

Ironically, the consortium has chosen the Latrobe Valley coal mining area in the state of Victoria for the site of its manufacturing facilities. Although significant wind potential exists in the nearby Gippsland area, the valley is better known for its substantial electricity generation from the mining and combustion of brown coal.

Head of REAP, Heinz Dahl, says the consortium plans to follow Lagerwey's "virtual-organisation" model already established in the Netherlands, where components are contracted out to various companies and then assembled for the first time on site. Dahl adds that REAP is also working towards developing wind farms in Gippsland, an area that is "the most viable wind farm area in (mainland) Australia."

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