December 23, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Australia’s first wind turbine manufacturing factory, built and owned by Vestas, the international wind energy company, has officially opened in Wynyard, Tasmania. The approximately AUD$15 million (US$11 million) plant, which has actually been operative for more than five months, has brought more than 60 new jobs to the region. Vestas will assemble turbine housings (called “nacelles”) for 75 to110 wind turbines per year at the facility. Vestas said that plant is a prime example of the kind of jobs and investment an expanded Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) would bring to rural areas of the region. The MRET is equivalent to the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in the US. According to Vestas, the current uncertainty around the future scale of the MRET, which is now being reviewed, throws the Australian federal government’s commitment into question and with it winds energy projects currently in planning, which have been estimated to be worth AUD$4 billion to AUD$5 billion (US$2.9 billion to US$3.7 billion) to the Australian economy.