The biggest wind farm in the southern hemisphere, Macarthur wind farm, has officially opened in the Australian state of Victoria.
The 420 megawatt project was developed by AGL Energy and Meridian, a New Zealand company. The project developers have pointed out that the massive new wind farm is the single largest investment in renewable energy in Australia since the Snowy Mountain hydro scheme was finished back in 1974. Macarthur wind farm cost $1 billion to build.
With the launch of this project, Australian Climate Change Minister Greg Combet has said that wind power capacity in Australia has risen from 1,140 megawatts in 2007 to 3,000 megawatts today. Australia has legislated for a large-scale Renewable Energy Target of at least 41,000 GWh by 2020.
The Macarthur wind farm has the largest wind turbines of any in Australia. They are Vestas V112-3.0MW turbines with a 55 meter blade length, and a 85m tower. All of the 140 towers for the project were manufactured in Australia. The farm also includes 3 main substation transformers.
The massive wind farm began construction in late 2010 and was completed 3 months ahead of schedule in in January this year. The farm is now ready to pump out enough electricity for about 200,000 homes, and save more than 1.7 million tonnes of greenhouse gasess from going into the atmosphere every year. Nice one, mates.
Image: Vestas V112-3 wind turbine