Western Australia Minister for Energy Peter Collier
Government Reaffirms Commitment To Deliver A Cleaner Energy Future
Victor P Taffa
Western Australia Energy Minister Peter Collier has announced an agreement that will lead to the construction of one of Australia’s biggest operating wind farms, located near Merredin.
Addressing the Western Australian Sustainable Energy Association conference today, Mr. Collier said the State Government had authorised for Synergy to purchase power over the next 15 years, underpinning the new development.
When completed, Collgar wind farm will increase the total renewable energy generation in the South West Interconnected System from 5% to 8.9 %.
“With a total capacity of 206 MW, this will be WA’s largest renewable energy project.” Mr. Collier said.
“This is significant for WA and reaffirms the Liberal-National Government’s commitment to delivering a cleaner energy future.”
“Collgar will be an iconic renewable energy project not just for the Wheatbelt but also for the whole of WA.”
The Collgar wind farm will comprise 111 wind turbines that will generate enough energy to power more than 125,000 homes every year.
Up to 200 jobs would be created during the construction phase, with ongoing jobs for up to 20 people, once construction is completed. It is expected to be operational by August 2011.
“This wind farm will ensure we avoid more than 700,000 tonnes of greenhouse emissions going into the atmosphere every year of its operation.” Mr. Collier said.
The Minister said the wind farm would help meet the State Government’s aim of providing secure, reliable, competitive and clean energy for the future.
It was also a major step towards achieving the national renewable energy target of 20 % by 2020.
“Meeting this target is a key objective of the Strategic Energy Initiative, which is being developed to provide a clear and co-ordinated direction for the State’s energy sector.” Mr. Collier said.
“In addition, the Government supports sustainable, low-emission technologies, through the Low Emissions Energy Development (LEED) Fund, with the next round offers of up to $10million announced in February.”
“We have already provided $12.5 Million to Carnegie Corporation to develop the first two stages of a 5 MW wave power station off Garden Island.”
“Further to this, the Government has integrated the Sustainable Energy Development Office into the Office of Energy, to embed renewable and energy efficiency research, development and planning into all aspects of the broader mainstream energy sector in WA.” Mr. Collier said.
“We recognise the importance of increasing the use of renewable energy and improving energy efficiency across all sectors of the community, and are taking direct action to address this.”