Plans for $1.3bn wind farm on Yorke Peninsula

SUZLON Energy Australia this week announced plans to invest $1.3 billion building one of the world's largest wind energy projects on the Yorke Peninsula, South Australia.

Suzlon Group, the world's fifth largest wind turbine supplier, proposes to erect up to 180 turbines, 20 kilometres south-west of Ardrossan, in what the company has called the 'Ceres Project'.

South Australian Premier Mike Rann said the announcement reinforces South Australia's nation-leading role as a renewable energy hub.

He said the proposed project would be able to generate up to 600 megawatts (MW) directly into the metropolitan Adelaide grid via a High Voltage Direct Current connection across Gulf St Vincent.

"The Ceres Project will generate enough electricity to power more than 200,000 homes every year and provide long term certainty for Adelaide's power supplies," Mr Rann said.

The Premier said South Australia already has 534 turbines installed producing 1,150MW of wind generating capacity, or more than 21 per cent of the state's total electricity generation.

He said the new project will significantly help the state in meeting its target of 33 per cent of the state's energy generation from renewable sources by 2020.

"We already have 54% of Australia's total wind power generating capacity – five times per capita more than Victoria and ten times more than New South Wales.

"If the Ceres Project receives regulatory, planning and environmental approvals, upon completion it will further consolidate our lead as the renewables capital of Australia.

"While in other states projects have stalled or been cancelled because of regulatory roadblocks and red tape we have been hungry and have made it easier for the private sector to invest in wind power," Mr Rann said.

Mr Rann said the project will provide a big economic boost for Yorke Peninsula with more than 500 direct jobs created in construction and 50 ongoing jobs over the following 25 years.

The company is currently preparing to implement a comprehensive community engagement and environmental assessment program and, if approved, hopes to complete the project by end of 2015.

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