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22 April 2009
Western Australia's renewable energy capacity was boosted today with the announcement of $4.2 million in funding for the Mt Barker wind farm.
"Australia has some of the world's best wind resources and I am delighted that more West Australians will be able to source renewable energy locally from the Mt Barker wind farm," the Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett said.
"If we're going to be serious about lowering our emissions and producing more clean energy, then wind has a key role to play.
"Currently Australia has 50 wind farms, with an installed capacity of 1,306 megawatts1, and the Mt Barker wind farm will play a role in delivering 20 per cent of Australia's electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020.
"The three turbines at Mt Barker will generate around 8,400 megawatt hours of electricity each year, and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 8,000 tonnes annually."
Minister Garrett said investing in cleaner energy technology makes economic and environmental sense.
"Investing in renewable energy helps reduce the technology cost and accelerates the integration of clean renewable sources into our energy mix, making our energy consumption more sustainable.
"Where possible, the assembly and supply of materials to support the Mt Barker turbines will be sourced locally."
Minister Garrett said the Mt Barker wind farm will be funded under the Australian Government's Renewable Remote Power Generation Program and administered by the Sustainable Energy Development Office in Western Australia.
Western Australia has 17 wind farms - five connected to the main electricity grid and 12 supplying renewable energy directly to local communities and business.
The wind farm comprises three 800 kilowatt wind turbines and will be located 4 kilometres north of Mt Barker on the western side of the Albany Highway.
Wind turbines capture wind energy within the area swept by their blades and the blades drive an electrical generator to produce power which is fed into the grid. The Australian Government is working with the States and Territories on a set of national guidelines for wind farms.
1 Global Wind Energy Council, October 2008