Coal, Gas

South Australia’s largest wind farm opened

31 March 2005 – A 46 MW wind farm featuring the largest wind turbines in Australia was today officially opened in South Australia. The A $A92.5m ($71.23m) Canunda Wind Farm at Lake Bonney near Millicent is owned by UK-based International Power.

South Australia Premier Mike Rann opened the 23-turbine farm which has the capacity to generate enough to power 30 000 houses.

International Power Australia has a purchase agreement
with Australia Gas and Light Company (AGL) for all the output
from the Canunda wind farm.

The site is located on a ridge overlooking Lake Bonney, 14km from International Power’s 63MW Snuggery peaking station. The wind farm has have 23 2 MW turbines manufactured by Vestas Australian Wind Technology Pty. Ltd..

The Canunda wind farm site has the strong and proven wind resources, is close to the transmission grid, and has strong local community support.

In March 2004, International Power announced that it had raised AU$62 million of non-recourse finance to fund the wind farm’s development and construction. The lead arranger banks for the financing were The Royal Bank of Scotland and Credit Agricole Indo-Suez. International Power will invest AU$30 million in this project, taking the total enterprise value to AU$92 million.

Wind Prospect Pty. performed the initial studies, including financial risk assessment, site selection and assessment, planning management, site design and optimization and cost estimation.

Vestas has received the €45m contract to supply the turbines. These have a remote monitoring system, together with an underground electrical cable network, access tracks, crane hardstandings, wind monitoring masts, a 33kV double-circuit distribution line, small switchgear buildings and appropriate site signs.

Vestas’s three-bladed pitch regulated machines have rotor and nacelle mounted on a cylindrical steel tower. Each turbine typically consists of a 60m to 70m-high tower and 30m to 40m-long blades, and hence may be 110m in height to the tip of the blade. These turbines have a swept area of 5,027m. They rotate at speeds between 10.5rpm and 24.5rpm, depending on the wind speed. The stop wind speed is 25m/s (there is an air brake with three separate pitch cylinders). Microprocessor-based monitoring of all turbine functions gives the option of remote monitoring.