Federal government grant for remote wind power projects

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The federal government has granted more than A$2 million towards the development of two remote wind power projects by Northern Territory company Powercorp. The grant was announced by Australia's new environment minister, Ian Campbell. Most of the money (A$1.6 million) is pegged for a project at Bremer Bay on the south coast of Western Australia, which will see a 600 kW wind turbine installed. Bremer Bay is not connected to the main grid and is unlikely to be for some time. At present, the area relies solely on a temporary diesel power station operated by utility Western Power. The project includes new diesel generators specially modified to work in tandem with the wind turbine. Diesel and Wind systems, a division of Western Power, will supply the turbine. A further A$500,000 is earmarked for a A$3.5 million project on Home Island in the Cocos (Keeling Islands), an Australian Territory in the Indian Ocean 2950 kilometres north-west of Perth. The project will see the installation of four 20 kW wind turbines and a fully automated diesel power station. When complete, the development will generate around 2220 MWh of electricity a year, enough to supply about 15% of the island's electricity needs. The wind turbines, to be manufactured and supplied by Western Australian company West Wind, will feature 30 metre tilt down towers, enabling them to be lowered to the ground during cyclones.

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