Victorian Minister for Energy, Candy Broad, has launched construction of Australia’s largest wind farm, which will deliver enough electricity to power 25,000 homes and abate nearly 185,000 tons of greenhouse emissions.Melbourne, Victoria, Australia – November 8, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] Green energy generator Pacific Hydro is building the 35 turbines, 52.5 MW wind farm, at Challicum Hills, near Ararat, at a cost of US$76 million. Construction commenced with a ceremonial turning of the turf by the Minister and local landholder Alastair Mackenzie. “We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received for our Challicum Hills proposal throughout the development process. It seems that it’s not just Pacific Hydro that is excited to see our Challicum Hills plans become a reality,” said Jeff Harding, Pacific Hydro managing director. “It is symbolic that local resident Alastair Mackenzie is turning the first turf on the site as he and his family have given the project untiring support. We are pleased that the Challicum Hills Wind Farm will make a significant long term contribution to the local economy. Local suppliers will be involved in everything from construction through to operations and maintenance, and the operating wind farm is expected to considerably boost local tourism, according to Pacific Hydro. The zero emission energy generated at the Challicum Hills Wind Farm will be connected to the national energy market via the local distribution network and will be available for purchase through Origin Energy. The Challicum Hills wind farm is expected to be operational by mid-2003. It will be Pacific Hydro’s second wind farm in Victoria, and the first utilizing a supply agreement with leading Danish manufacturer NEG Micon.