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Australia

Seeking approval for proposed 210 MW Barunga wind farm

Wind Prospect Pty hopes to gain planning approval for its proposed 210 MW Barunga wind farm in the mid-north of South Australia within six months, says the company's Michael Vawser. Located along the Hummocks and Barunga Ranges, the A$350 million project will be one of Australia's largest wind farms, if approved. Comprising 105 turbines of between 1.5 MW and 2.75 MW, the wind farm will generate enough electricity to supply more than 140,000 South Australian homes and save around 750,000 tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions. Vawser says a tender for turbine supply will be issued as soon as approval is gained. Construction is estimated to take 15 months with the wind farm, he hopes, completed late into 2004 or in early 2005. Wind Prospect Pty is a consortium comprising SIIF Energies, the renewable energy arm of French utility EdF, and the UK's Wind Prospect. Barunga is the fifth wind farm in the company's development program. "This is our biggest project and a very windy site so we are hoping to get a lot of interest. We have been very impressed with the support the project has received from the local community," says Vawser. Around 50 jobs will be created during the construction phase and when up and running, ten to 12 staff will be responsible for operations and maintenance.

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