Largest wind farm on-line in the west

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Australia's largest wind farm, a 21.6 MW facility at Albany in Western Australia, was due on-line last month. Developed by Western Power, the wind farm is grid connected to twin 132 kV lines from Perth and will become part of the 3000 MW South West Interconnected System that services almost a third of the state. "The project will value add to the network by boosting power to the Albany area which is located at the end of the grid," says Western Windpower's Paul Ebert. The plant will be remotely controlled from a command centre in Perth 400 kilometres away. The twelve 1.8 MW Enercon E66 turbines towers are predicted to generate up to 77 GWh a year from the site that has average wind speeds of 9 m/s. Western Power developed Australia's first wind farm at Ten Mile Lagoon, near Esperance in 1987. The Albany project follows a two year community consultation exercise that encountered some tough opposition. "The approach we took was to outline the positives and not hide the negatives," says Ebert.

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