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A 140 turbine wind farm costing $1 billion will be built in Victoria's south-west.
AGL Energy and Meridian Energy have entered into binding contracts to build the farm at Macarthur, south of Hamilton.
It will be the biggest wind farm of its type in the southern hemisphere.
The Victorian Government says the wind farm will create 400 direct jobs during the construction phase.
The farm will generate 420 megawatts of electricity, which is enough to power 220,000 homes.
It is expected to start operating in 2013.
Originally posted by Pilgrum
There's already something like 1500MW (1.5GW) of installed wind turbines in eastern Oz, and WA has its own installations as well but not part of the national grid due to the distance. The main problem with wind is it can't be considered a reliable energy source in that it won't necessarily be at peak output during times of peak demand but with more & more installations spread out across the country the diversity factor gets better all the time.
It still happens that the 1500MW+ of wind generation drops off to nothing in a relatively short time like 30 minutes or less and you need to have that capacity in idle but online base load stations (IE thermal) to cover it and prevent the possibility of load-shedding so wind isn't quite the longterm solution but we're getting closer I believe. You can't start up a thermal station from standstill in 30 minutes, it takes more like 24 hours or thereabouts. Natural gas turbines and hydro currently help to fill those gaps.
[edit on 12/8/2010 by Pilgrum]
‘Zero Carbon Australia – Stationary Energy Plan’ – Critique
The ZCA2020 Stationary Energy Plan has significantly underestimated the cost and timescale required to implement such a plan.
Our revised cost estimate is nearly five times higher than the estimate in the Plan: $1,709 billion compared to $370 billion. The cost estimates are highly uncertain with a range of $855 billion to $4,191 billion for our estimate.
The wholesale electricity costs would increase nearly 10 times above current costs to $500/MWh, not the $120/MWh claimed in the Plan.
The total electricity demand in 2020 is expected to be 44% higher than proposed: 449 TWh compared to the 325 TWh presented in the Plan.