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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

21 December 2004

Rottnest Island gets $3.8m wind turbine


Nearly 40 per cent of Rottnest Island's electricity needs will come from a $3.8 million wind turbine system officially launched today.

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said the innovative project was a long-term solution to the island's essential services.

"Wind energy will provide nearly 40 per cent of Rottnest's electricity needs, which is a dramatic saving of about 430,000 litres of diesel each year and approximately 1100 tonnes of greenhouse gases," he said.

"This is the most modern wind/diesel system available. It significantly increases the percentage of usable wind energy being captured by the turbines, making it an outstanding winner for the environment."

The joint Australian and WA governments project links a 600 kilowatt turbine to two 320 watt diesel generators modified to work at lower electricity load levels, and a sophisticated control system.

"The Australian Government is supporting projects that develop the Australian renewable energy industry, and help maintain Australia's position as a world leader in renewable energy technologies," Senator Campbell said.

The project is funded from the Australian Government's $200 million Renewable Remote Power Generation Programme, which provides rebates for the installation of renewable generation equipment in remote parts of the country.

"Nearly $100 million - half of the total funding for the programme - has been committed to WA projects," Senator Campbell said.

"The Rottnest project is similar to a number of other wind/diesel projects which the Government has supported in WA, such as the recent installations at Hopetoun and Bremer Bay.

"Benefits for people in remote locations include greater access to electricity, reduction in noise and air pollution, and reduction in the costs of transporting fuel over long distances."

The Programme is managed by the Australian Greenhouse Office, within the Department of Environment and Heritage and is delivered by State and Territory governments. Further information about the programme is available from the website: www.greenhouse.gov.au

Media contact:
Wayne Grant 08 9421 1755 / 0 407 845 280

Commonwealth of Australia