55MW wind farm opens in WA’s mid-west

The Mumbida Wind Farm has officially opened in Western Australia, 40km south of Geraldton.

The $200 million plant is a 50/50 joint venture between WA’s state-owned Verve Energy and the privately held Infrastructure Capital Group.

The project comprises of 22 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 2.5MW – enough to power 40,000 average homes. The wind turbines each stand 135m to the top of their blades, about as tall as the Governor Stirling Tower in the Perth CBD.

All energy generated from the turbines has been purchased by the state’s biggest water supplier, Water Corporation, to offset energy requirements of a desalination plant near Bunbury.

Energy Minister Dr Mike Nahan said the 55MW project will help WA move towards its renewable energy target obligations.

“It’s one of the state’s largest wind farms and will be one of many into the future to tap into the wind resources of the area,” he said at the plant’s official opening in September.

“There’s a renewable energy target that all state and public and private retailers agreed to move towards 20 per cent renewable by the year 2020. That’s actually right now a policy more like 25 per cent by 2020. And we’ve adopted it and are pursuing it.”

Expansion of the Mumbida Wind Farm to an 85MW project is anticipated for the future. The wind farm was constructed by the consortium of Leighton Contractors and General Electric (GE), with the GE turbines the first of their kind in Australia.