A wind farm in Portland, Australia should double the country’s wind energy generating capacity. Utility company Pacific Hydro hopes to have the AUD $54 million – US $39 million – Yambuk Wind Farm complete and running by the middle of 2006.Melbourne, Australia – July 8,2004 [SolarAccess.com] The 30 MW farm will be accompanied by a Vestas Wind Systems blade manufacturing facility in Portland, Victoria; and the two facilities are part of the 120 turbine, 195 MW Portland Wind Project. Vestas will supply 20, 1.5 MW turbines to the Yambuk farm. The blade factory is expected to be put into operation in the summer of 2005 with at least 50 employees, and should have a yearly capacity of 100 blade sets made for MW wind turbines. Pacific projects at Cape Bridgewater, Cape Nelson and Cape Sir William Grant, will also get blades from the Portland factory. “This project will deliver immediate benefits to the Portland community including clean energy and jobs in both construction and manufacturing. Throughout the development stages of this project, we have had the highest level of support from the Glenelg and Moyne Shires, and the Victorian State Government,” Managing Director Jeff Harding said. The wind energy industry has been the catalyst for the creation of many new jobs in Portland, predominantly at Keppel Prince where wind towers are already being manufactured and exported. Bill Collett, who is the mayor of the Glenelg Shire, said that the dual benefits of environmental sustainability and economic development delivered by the Portland Wind Project have national significance. “This project is an important development for all Australians who are interested in not only reducing the impact of global warming through the production of zero pollution energy, but also in seeing new industries developed in regional locations,” Collett said. “It demonstrates that economic outcomes are possible through supporting the renewable energy industry. Construction on the site will take approximately 12 months, and generators should arrive early in the next calendar year. Earth moving to establish connecting roads will start almost immediately, as well as the sub-station connection to the local grid. Yambuk will be fully commissioned over a two-month period, and should go from zero to full output in two months.