Big wind down under

Investec Bank and CSIRO-spinout Windlab Systems are proposing to develop a massive wind farm in northeastern Australia.


Investec Bank Australia and CSIRO spinout Windlab Systems are proposing to develop a massive wind farm in northeastern Australia.


The so-called Coopers Gap Wind Farm, located in the the Bilboa and Cooranga North region of Australia, would consist of up to 252 wind turbines capable of generating up to 500MW.


The electricity generated from each turbine would be transmitted via underground or above-ground cabling to a central cable marshalling point at an on-site substation, which would be located next to 220kV or 132kV power lines that run through the area.


The substation would connect the output directly into the Australian grid.


The site was originally identified as being a suitable location for a wind farm by Windlab Systems in late 2005.


A 60m wind-monitoring mast was installed in March 2006 to accurately measure wind speed and direction in the area. After 12 months of data were collected from the wind-monitoring mast, Investec began securing land for the project.


The project has been referred to the Australian government under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and has been determined as ‘not a controlled action’ under the Act. As such, an environmental impact assessment is not required for the project.


A development application is expected to be lodged in mid-to-late August this year and development approval, if granted, is expected during 2009.