Tourism blowing in the wind

THE $45 million Albany wind farm, which will generate up to 80 per cent of Albany’s power needs, is capturing the hearts and minds of locals looking to benefit from the project.

The Great Southern Development Commission believes the windfarm project could have enormous potential for tourism.

The GSDC has contributed to a study investigating the feasibility of a public viewing platform to be fixed to the top of one of the 12, 65-metre high turbines, with an interpretive visitor centre at the base.

The report of the feasibility study has been submitted and the WA Tourism Commission is coordinating development of funding submissions to secure the support required to proceed with the tourism aspect of the project.

According to the GSDC the construction of the windfarm would give an immediate boost to the local economy, with approximately $10 million spent over the next 12 months on Albany contractors and on accommodation and services.

Preliminary site works have begun and the farm was expected to be operating by July.

Electricity generated by the turbines will pass through underground power cables into the main WA electricity grid. The electricity generated will be used within the City and surrounds.

The City is also looking at other ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Other renewable energy options include biomass, involving the use of biological material like green waste to produce electricity. An energy company is currently assessing the Albany region as a potential location for a biomass plant.

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