IN BRIEF - 600m Merredin wind farm approved

The Merredin Shire Council has approved the development of a $600 million wind farm that will generate enough electricity to power 160,000 homes. Investec Bank (Australia) Ltd will reportedly fund and develop the Collgar wind farm, which is a joint venture with the CSIRO-backed Windlab Systems Pty Ltd. The project, consisting of 127 wind turbines and capable of generating up to 267 megawatts of electricity a year, will be constructed on a 13,000 hectare site 25 kilometres south-east of Merredin. Up to 200 jobs will be created during the 18-month construction phase, with local sub-contractors invited to register their interest in the project next month. WA’s current biggest wind farm is Alinta’s 90 megawatt facility at Walkaway near Geraldton, closely followed by the 80MW Emu Downs joint venture between Griffin Energy and Stanwell Corporation. Next on the list is Verve Energy’s 21MW wind farm at Albany. At Esperance, Horizon Energy started the 2MW Ten Mile Lagoon Wind Farm in 1993 and it now operates in parallel with Verve’s 3.6MW Nine Mile Beach commissioned in 2003. Griffin is proposing a 130MW wind farm at Badgingarra, which is expected to be commissioned in late 2010

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