Vestas wins 128 MW deal for Tasmania

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Hydro Tasmania has signed a A$154 million deal with Vestas Australian Wind Technology for the supply of 128 MW of wind turbines for the planned 130 MW Woolnorth wind farm in Tasmania's north west. Vestas has already supplied 10.5 MW of turbines for the first phase of the A$200 million project. The company is proceeding with its plans to construct the Bluff Point 54 MW second stage, but development of the full project is reliant on the success of the controversial Basslink proposal, which would see the Tasmanian electricity grid linked with Victoria's via an undersea transmission cable. If constructed, the National Grid Group Plc undersea Basslink monopole transmission cable will allow Tasmania to enter the National Electricity Market and increase its generation capabilities. These are currently limited due to the small size of the isolated market. Bass

link is undergoing extensive assessment due to a number of environmental concerns including fears the monopole design would lead to corrosion of undersea pipelines and affect sea life in the Bass Strait. A draft determination report on Basslink is to be released this month, with a final decision expected in late 2002. If approved, Basslink will be constructed in 2003/04. Andrew Pattle, spokesman for Hydro Tassie, says the company is confident the Basslink project will be approved, but it has other potential sites for the turbines if Basslink does not go ahead. The company is investigating further sites in Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. The large order of V66 1.75 MW turbines was placed to allow for the stimulation of a Vestas nacelle manufacturing industry in the state. The turbines will be delivered in 2003 and 2004. The A$27 million stage one of the project will be fully commissioned in June 2002.

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