Big Blade joins the big Pineapple, Merino etc
This wind turbine blade display on a corner of Railway Terrace East and Fourth Street in Snowtown in SA’s mid-north is becoming a tourist attraction.
South Australias Premier Mike Ran unveiled a monument recently that is believed to be the only permanent display of a wind turbine blade in an Australian town.
The 44m-long blade mounted 3m above the ground is in the centre of Snowtown in SAs mid-north, 145km north of Adelaide. It marks the opening by Rann of the states ninth wind farm of 47 Suzlon Energy Australia turbines atop the Barunga Range near Snowtown.
Costing $220m, the Snowtown Wind Farm will generate 98MW of electricity, enough to power 50,000 homes. This brings the total wind power in SA to 740MW or 58% of the nations total wind-generated power.
Premier Rann says another two wind farms are due to be completed in 2009, which will take the total to 860MW. He notes that when his government came to power in 2002 not one wind turbine was operating in the state.
The monument was installed and paid for by the wind farm contractors: Suzlon, Built Environs, Downer EDI and I Cubed while the six information boards were provided by the wind farm owner, TrustPower.
MP for Grey Rowan Ramsey says the monument is fast becoming a tourist attraction. The wind farm, he adds, is contributing about $1.2m/year in landowner royalty payments and the incomes of the full-time maintenance staff.
A trust fund established by TrustPower, will contribute $15,000/year for the life of the wind farm, to directly benefit community and environmental initiatives in and around Snowtown.
Ramsey says he supports the expansion of wind farms as an excellent example of a regional industry. Construction of the Snowtown Wind Farm created about 90 jobs, of which around 30 were undertaken by people from the region.
I have some concerns about the current lighting requirements on the towers but believe there are a number of technical solutions to the problem including shielded lighting, he said.