A new 55-megawatt Western Australian based wind farm project has been officially opened and is now fully operational.
Located 40 km southeast of Geralton (WA), the $200 million Mumbida Wind Farm project is being heralded as one of the most advanced wind farms in Australia. The energy produced from the plant has been purchased by the Water Corporation to offset the energy requirements of a desalination plant near Bunbury, WA.
The wind farm comprises of 22 GE wind turbines, each with a capacity of 2.5MW, the first entry into the Australian wind market of the world’s supplier of energy equipment. The installed generating capacity is enough to produce electricity to power 40,000 average households.
The Wind Farm is the result of a 50/50 joint venture between WA’s state-owned Verve Energy, which generators more than half of the state’s electricity, and the privately held Infrastructure Capital Group.
The Western Australian Minister for Energy, Dr Mike Nahan, officially opened the site last Friday. According to ABC Online, Nahan said the Mumbida wind farm is helping WA move towards renewable energy targets.
“It’s one of the state’s largest wind farms and which will be one of many into the future to tap into the wind resources of the area,” he said.
“There’s a renewable energy target that all state and public and private retailers agreed to move towards 20 per cent renewable by the year 2020. That’s actually right now a policy more like 25 per cent by 2020. And we’ve adopted it and are pursuing it.”
The Mumbida announcement comes after news that wind farms in four states produced record-breaking levels of energy that could power 155,000 Australian homes for a year.
In August, eight per cent of the power on the National Electricity Market in August came from wind farms, with South Australia as a front-runner, producing the equivalent of 40 per cent of the state’s power in August (up from a previous record of 31.2 per cent).
By the end of 2012 Western Australia had 424 megawatts of wind generation, which accounted for around 65 per cent of electricity produced by renewable energy sources in the state. The Mumbida farm will be added to the list of large wind farms in Western Australia, which includes Collgar (206MW), Walkaway (90MW) and Emu Downs (80MW).