Aussie Wind Farm Wins Federal Approval

Australia’s Pacific Hydro Ltd. has been granted the approval from the federal government for the development of the company’s wind farm at Portland, in Victoria. The 180 MW Portland Wind Energy Project would comprise of 120 wind turbines at four sites around Portland and would be Australia’s largest Renewable Energy project.

Portland, Australia – May 6, 2003 [] In a government media release, the federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, described the project as “potentially the most exciting new development in two decades … [that] should provide a jobs boost bigger than that provided by the Portland aluminum smelter.” On completion the project will provide enough electricity to power a city the size of Geelong, reducing the country’s greenhouse emissions by more than 650,000 tons per year – equivalent to removing over 150,000 cars from Australia’s roads. The project sites are at Cape Bridgewater, Cape Nelson, Cape Sir William Grant and Yambuk, and would create one of the biggest wind farm projects in the world, and the largest in the southern hemisphere, and would double Pacific Hydro’s generating capacity. “We are delighted by today’s announcement which represents the final planning approval required in a process that has seen the project achieve the support of local government, state government and now the federal government,” said Jeff Harding, Pacific Hydro Managing Director. The project will also generate a noticeable economic impact in the area, said the company. Pacific Hydro’s aim to achieve 90 percent Australian content for the project will deliver considerable economic and social benefits upon southwest Victoria including a AUD$100 million (US$63.5 million) injection into the local economy and the establishment of a wind energy manufacturing and assembly industry. A wind generator manufacturing industry will create up to 2,000 new jobs in Victoria, as well as an export market worth up to AUD$100 million (US$63.5 million) per year. The majority of new employment will be created in rural areas, providing a significant and much-needed boost to regional Victoria. The company said wind farms have proved to be major tourist attractions with more than 50,000 people entering the Codrington wind farm viewing area in the last year, and a thousand people a month taking paid tours of Codrington Wind Farm Tours. Pacific Hydro will work with the Portland Tourist Association and other relevant stakeholders to ensure the Portland project’s tourism potential is realized. “We would particularly like to acknowledge the extraordinary level of support the project and Pacific Hydro has received from all sectors of the local community in south western Victoria,” Harding said. “We are pleased that we are now one step closer to being able to deliver significant benefits to the local community. Our Codrington Wind Farm that has been operating near Port Fairy since June 2001 has become one of the major tourist attractions along the coast.”
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