A joint venture between Australia's AGL and New Zealand's Meridian Energy has opened the southern hemisphere's largest wind farm in Macarthur, Victoria.
The AU$1 billion Macarthur Wind Farm has opened in Victoria three months ahead of schedule, giving our green energy capabilities a massive leg up. Able to generate up to 420 Megawatts of electricity — enough to power 220,000 homes — wind turbine manufacturer Vestas said that the plant brings Australia's cumulative wind energy capacity to over 50 per cent.
The plant was constructed by Vestas and Leighton as part of Australia's Renewable Energy Target, which aims to see at least 20 per cent of Australia's energy supplied by renewable resources by 2020. Wind power is one of the cleanest sources of energy available.
It was also the first project to make use of the Vestas V112-3.0 MW wind turbine.
This has not stopped locals from protesting the wind farm, due to feeling ill effects such as insomnia, headaches and nausea caused by sub-audible infra-sound. However, professor Simon Chapman of the University of Sydney called these symptoms "a psychogenic phenomenon being whipped up in communities of people who are often envious of the good fortune of their neighbours who have 'drought proofed' the farm with annual turbine rental windfalls, and who mysteriously never get the symptoms themselves".
The Musselroe, Tasmania, wind farm, which will add 168 Megawatts to Tasmania's power supply, is still on target to be completed and opened in July this year.