Hint of something bigger

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Australia's Far North Queensland Electricity Board says its two 225 kW Vestas turbines on Thursday Island in The Torres Strait have generated 17% more than predicted since coming on line in August 1997. The $2.1 million wind project operates in parallel with a diesel generation plant and provided nearly 10% of the island's electricity over the 12 month period while saving 440,000 litres of diesel fuel. FNQEB's project manager, Fiona Morrow, says the high A$0.70 a litre cost of the diesel reflects the removal of subsidies and is a major factor in the project's economics.

Before the latest improved results, the FNQEB believed the wind investment would pay for itself in nine years. Now its faith in wind power is even greater, says Morrow. She hints at a new wind development that would be "bigger -- a lot bigger." She declines to comment further.

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