13/05/2011 - 12:20

Wind farm to begin power production

13/05/2011 - 12:20

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Western Australia's largest renewable energy project will begin producing electricity tomorrow and is on track to help satisfy the state's peak power demands over the summer months.

Western Australia's largest renewable energy project will begin producing electricity tomorrow and is on track to help satisfy the state's peak power demands over the summer months.

The announcement from Collgar Wind Farm comes three months ahead of schedule, as the original construction timeline flagged commencement of power production in August.

Collgar said the initial power generated from its $750 million wind energy project, near Merredin, would be relatively small, as wind turbine and network stability tests are completed.

It said once testing was completed, the wind farm would ramp up significantly as more turbines were brought into production.

Construction of the wind farm is on schedule, Collgar said, with 80 of the project's 111 wind turbines fully erected.

Collgar said it expected construction to be completed by the end of August, and full energy production capability would be achieved by December.

Collgar chief executive Alistair Craib said the initial generation of power was a very significant milestone for the project.

"It is a testament to the pro-active and co-operative spirit that Collgar has managed to enjoy with its key counterparties Vestas, Western Power, Synergy and the Merredin Shire that we have been able to reach this milestone with very few hiccups and significantly ahead of schedule," Mr Craib said.

"Importantly, it means that the wind farm is now highly likely to be fully available during the peak summer demand months of 2011-12."

The wind farm is forecast to generate and deliver, on average, 792,000MWh of renewable electricity into Western Power's network - the South West Interconnected System.

Western Power completed a $20 million project to connect it into the SWIS last month.

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