Australia

Australia

All systems go for first stage of 30 MW Yambuk project

Australian wind power developer Pacific Hydro has confirmed construction will begin shortly on its 30 MW Yambuk wind farm and on a blade manufacturing facility planned by Danish turbine manufacturer Vestas for Portland, Victoria. Yambuk is the first stage of the A$270 million 195 MW Portland Wind Energy Project (PWEP), which when completed will almost double Australia's wind energy generating capacity and create around 400 jobs during the two and a half year construction phase. Costing around A$54 million, Yambuk's 20, 1.5 MW wind turbines will generate around 100 GWh a year. The project is scheduled for completion in May. Meantime, Vestas' A$9 million blade factory is on track to be fully operational in time to supply the further 100 sets of blades required for stage two of the PWEP, to be built on sites at Cape Bridgewater, Cape Nelson and Cape Sir William Grant, all due for completion by mid-2006. Initially the factory is expected to provide direct jobs for 50 people. In June Vestas boss Svend Sigaard announced the company was "reconsidering" plans for the blade factory following the refusal of the Australian government to improve its Mandatory Renewable Energy Target. A blade factory, however, is part of the price tag for the huge PWEP contract. The Yambuk project is important for all Australians who support not only zero pollution energy but also the creation of new industries in regional locations, says Bill Collett, mayor of Glenelg Shire, Portland. Wind turbine towers are already made at Keppel Prince.

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