THE South Australian Government last week announced conditional approval for the $1.5 billion Ceres wind farm project, which will deliver an estimated 600 megawatts of electricity source through the installation of 197 turbines approximately 20 kilometres south-west of Ardrossan on the Yorke Peninsula.
Planning Minister John Rau said the development, which will connect to the Adelaide electricity grid via an under-sea transmission cable from Port Julia to St Kilda, is expected to be able to power the equivalent of 225,000 South Australian homes a year and avoid the creation of up to 2.5 million tonnes of carbon pollution each year or the equivalent of a 278,000 hectare tree plantation.
It is estimated the project will generate 500 direct jobs during construction, along with an expected 50 full time jobs over the 25 year operational life of the development. The direct local benefits have been estimated at $8 million per annum for the 25 year life of the wind farm.
The project will be managed by Senvion Australia, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Suzlon Group and has approximately 30 per cent of the Australian wind energy market, with over 1,000 megawatts of wind energy capacity installed over 15 wind farm projects and over 285 megawatts currently under construction.
"The Ceres project showcases South Australia's status as a global clean energy leader and will generate enough clean electricity to power 225,000 homes each year," said Senvion Australia's Managing Director, Chris Judd.
"This is a unique renewable energy project with unprecedented environmental credentials. We have taken in the concerns of the community in our final revised layout and we are determined to continue to work with the Yorke Peninsula community to make this Australia's best wind farm with significant local benefits," he said
According to the government, the conditions attached to the approval relate to the construction and operation of the wind farm and infrastructure, such as transformers, transmission lines and cabling, and were developed in response to the community consultation process.