Australia overall doesn’t show up among the world’s wind-power leaders, but it’s a different story in South Australia. By at least one calculation, the state in the south-central part of the country has higher per capita installed wind capacity than Denmark or Spain. And now there could be a lot more on the way: Premier Mike Rann said India-based wind-turbine manufacturer Suzlon has plans to build a 180-turbine, 600-megwatt (MW) capacity plant.
Rann said the plant was planned for the Yorke Peninsula, just across Gulf St. Vincent from the Adelaide metropolitan area, home to around 70 percent of South Australia’s 1.64 million people. Power produced at the mammoth plant, dubbed the Ceres Project, would feed directly into the Adelaide grid through a high voltage direct current connection across the gulf, Rann said.
“South Australia already has 534 turbines installed producing 1,150 MW of wind generating capacity, which is more than 21 percent of the state’s total electricity generation,” Rann said. “This new project will catapult us towards our target of reaching 33 percent of renewable energy generation by 2020.”
Rann noted that South Australia currently accounts for “54 percent of Australia’s total wind power generating capacity – five times per capita more than Victoria and 10 times more than New South Wales.” Rann said Suzlon was “preparing to implement a comprehensive community engagement and environmental assessment program” and, if the project is approved, was aiming to complete the project by end of 2015.