Private project start at Lithgow

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Site construction for installation of two Vestas V47 600 kW turbines was due to start last month for the Hampton Wind Park, near Lithgow, about 100 kilometres north west of Sydney. The project, Wind Corporation Australia's first foray into wind development, is due for completion in September. Integral Energy, an energy corporation in New South Wales, is to buy the output in a long-term agreement that will earn it renewable energy certificates, the tradable components of the federal government's mandate for 2% renewable energy supply. Wind Corp Australia was set up through seed funding from CVC Renewable Energy Equity Fund (REEF), a Commonwealth venture capital fund started by the government to encourage private investment in renewable energy. "Although CVC Reef provided the funds to kick start Wind Corporation, it is a separate company with a life its own and its own business plan," says the firm's Colin Leibmann. It is investigating other sites in New South Wales and elsewhere. "Hampton Park has put our name on the map and we now have the important credentials, intellectual property and skills necessary to compete," adds Leibmann. The Hampton Park turbines will be connected to 11 kV feeders and feed into the local distribution network. The output is expected to bring stability to the region's grid and will be available for use in the immediate vicinity. A unique feature of Hampton Park, according to Leibmann, is that it is only the second wind project in Australia funded by private investors. The Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) and the site's landowner are also shareholders in the project.

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