The government has approved plans for Australia's biggest wind farm to
be built near the outback town of Broken Hill in New South Wales.
Almost 600 turbines will generate enough electricity for more than
A forest of giant turbines will emerge from the
red dust of the Australian outback near Broken Hill, an isolated town
famous for its lead and zinc mining.
The $1.7 billion project
is one of the largest on-shore wind farms in the world. It eventually
will cover more than 32,000 hectares. Planning permission has been
granted for the first phase of development.
That phase will see
the construction of 282 turbines. Preliminary approval also has been
given for the installation of a further 300.
Development of the
site near Broken Hill, which lies 500 kilometers southwest of Adelaide,
must adhere to noise guidelines and limit the impact to the
Donna Bolton, the project manager for the
Silverton Wind Farm, says its operational capacity in excess of 1,000
megawatts will make a significant contribution to the energy
requirements of Australia's most populous state.
"It is a
monster wind farm. It is fabulous in scale," she said. "The entire
thing will provide enough electricity for 4.5 percent of New South
Wales' electrical needs and it is about 430,000 homes for the entire
project. Wind power for Australia is fantastic because it is going to
be out of the cities, it is going to be where the jobs are needed, it
is good for the environment, it is good for the local economies. It is
a really significant part of the answer."
The New South Wales
government has big plans for this type of renewable power. State
Premier Nathan Rees has said that a series of wind farms across the
state would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by six million tons a year.
emissions of greenhouse gases make it on a per capita basis one world's
worst polluters, thanks to its reliance on cheap and abundant supplies
of coal. Greenhouse gases, many of which come from burning coal and
oil, are thought to contribute to global warming.
government intends to ease the dependence on fossil fuels and wants to
have 20 percent of Australia's electricity coming from renewable energy
Solar and geothermal technologies are also being developed.
residents have opposed the construction of some wind farms in
Australia, complaining that turbines produce a low-frequency drone,
while others object to what they have described as "visual pollution."