South Australia gets another wind farm

HORNSDALE, South Australia’s newest wind farm, has been switched on to the grid in a special ceremony that included the announcement that local indigenous Australian art will feature on one of the wind towers in a world-first.

Haydn Black

At the opening ceremony in Hornsdale, South Australian and Australian Capital Territory government officials and the local community came together to switch on the first of 32 phase one turbines of the project developed by French renewable energy producer Neoen and contractor Siemens Australia.

Xavier Barbaro, Neoen’s global CEO who was in Australia for the celebration said that he was proud to see his company’s ability to deliver on ambitious clean energy targets.

“Hornsdale is a great example of the global strength of France and Germany working together to provide clean energy for 70,000 Australian homes and new employment, training and investment opportunities in South Australia and the ACT,” he said.

“With almost 40% of the country’s clean energy produced by wind farms, Australia’s renewable energy footprint is increasing in size and global relevance – making it a great place to invest and do business,” Barbaro said.

“Neoen has been able to use our extensive wind and solar assets to expand rapidly in Australia since we started operations here in 2012. We look forward continued success in Hornsdale and across the country.

“Local communities play a big role in the success of wind farms and in creating a sustainable economy and it’s encouraging to see how welcoming people in Hornsdale and surrounding communities have been.”

The wind farm features the latest in blade technology that harvests more wind energy – increasing the annual energy yield of the turbines. Each rotor of the 32 state-of-the-art turbines sweeps a total of 10,000sq.m – an area equal to 320 school buses parked together.

The high-tech Hornsdale wind farm uses the latest data and digitalisation platforms; every rotation is remotely monitored to increase effectiveness and efficiency.

Siemens Australia is the turn-key builder of the wind farm and.

"Siemens has over 30 years’ experience in wind power managing over 16,800 turbines globally. It's important to continually develop technology to support a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future for communities and the Hornsdale wind farm is a strong testament to this focus for Siemens,” Siemens head of energy businesses David Pryke said.

“This project is the epitome of partnership combined with the best technology to bring ingenuity to life for the benefit of society. It’s good for the environment, good for the economy and good for the community – all critical ingredients for sustainable success.”

Since the start of the Hornsdale project, Neoen has worked with the Northern Areas Council in Jamestown by funding community grants for projects.

Northern Areas Council CEO Colin Byles said Horndale would bring benefits to the local area.

“The impact of this project is immense and has injected a new energy into the area,” he said.

“You can see the impact through increased patronage of hotels and other accommodation, cafes and small retailers. Also, farmers benefit by having a regular source of income and road infrastructure that even benefits local volunteer fire fighters with new access roads.”