Grant approved for 3.6 MW wind farm in Esperance

Up to A$5.32 million is being granted from Australia's Renewable Remote Power Generation (RRPG) program for the development of a 3.6 MW wind farm in Esperance, Western Australia. The $10 million Nine Mile Beach wind farm by Western Power will replace the recently decommissioned Salmon Beach Wind Farm which, built in 1987, was Australia's first wind power plant. The RRPG provides money to states for installation of renewables generation in remote areas not connected to the main grid. Nine Mile Beach is the first major project to be announced under the program and is expected to become operational by mid 2003. Trebling the installed wind power capacity at Esperance, it will see six 600 kW turbines installed. Greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by around 9500 tonnes a year and enough electricity to supply 2500 homes will be generated, says Western Power. It will be located east of the company's 2 MW Ten Mile Lagoon wind farm (which uses nine Vestas 225 kW turbines). Together the two wind farms will produce enough electricity to meet the needs of 22% of the Esperance community. As well as Ten Mile Lagoon, Western Power is also behind the 21.6 MW Albany Wind Farm, 400 kilometres south of Perth. Officially opened in October 2001, it consists of 12 Enercon E66 1.8 MW turbines and produces enough electricity to supply 15,000 homes (75% of the City of Albany's electricity requirements). Other developments include the Denham Wind Farm, which consists of three Enercon 230 kW turbines.

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