27 May 2002 – Work on South Australia’s first wind farm officially started today, amid claims it would put the state on the map for large-scale wind farm construction.
State Premier Mike Rann turned the first sod to mark the start of site works at the Starfish Hill Wind Farm, on the state’s Fleurieu Peninsula.
When finished, the $A65m ($36.04m), 34.5 MW project would provide enough renewable energy for 18 000 South Australian households and a 66-kilovolt transmission line linking it to the power grid.
The farm was being built by Danish company NEG Micon for the Queensland Government-owned electricity generation corporation Tarong Energy.
Rann said the site works were the beginning of a massive engineering project that would put South Australia on the map for large-scale wind farm construction. “The South Australian government sees great promise in this wind farm, and others to follow, in providing clean green energy as well as developing a whole new industry based around utilising our well developed manufacturing expertise to make wind farm components,” Rann said in a statement.
“I want South Australia to lead the way in using the wind, sun and other alternative sources to generate energy in an efficient and environmentally sensible fashion.”
Australia’s largest all-terrain mobile crane will be used to lift the wind turbine towers into place from November, with the project expected to be completed next April. South Australian company Air Ride Technologies was awarded a $A6m contract to manufacture the farm’s 23 wind turbine towers.