Almost 150 wind turbines are built or nearing completion around Snowtown in the north of South Australia. It's the state's biggest wind farm, and the towers dotting the landscape stretch 30 kilometres — but homeowners and residents are apparently happy with developer Trustpower's clean energy project.
The Snowtown wind power turbines. Image credit: Trustpower
According to ABC News, from the first stage of 47 turbines to the second stage's 90 towers, most of which are just nearing competion, residents around Snowtown in the mid-north of South Australia are generally supportive of the project. Farmer Paul McCormack told the ABC that the wind turbines on his property don't affect the grazing sheep stock or his day-to-day life; the nearest turbine to his homestead is 1km away. Like other farmers and landholders, he is paid royalties for the use of his land as the wind turbines generate power.
All the turbines are on private land, ranging along a 30km spine of land with the towers at an altitude of 350 to 400m; the region is largely used for grazing and so is suitable for the towers, where land for growing crops would present more obstacles.
The name of Snowtown evokes memories of the murders that occurred in the town in the 1990s, but local Lions Club president Faye Welke says that she and the club welcome the wind farms and the jobs they have created; up to 240 workers were employed during peak construction times and 160 ongoing roles within the region are planned for when the initial building project is completed.
The wind farm's 137 turbines are slated to produce a total of 1350GWh per year, providing power to 230,000 homes around the state and offsetting nearly 1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide that would be produced from coal-fired power plants to meet the same energy needs. The first stage of 2.1MW turbines came from Indian provider Suzlon, while the newer 3MW units are from German energy giant Siemens. [ABC News]
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