Ceres Wind Farm awarded development approval

The South Australian Government has approved the $1.5 billion Ceres Wind Farm, Australia’s biggest wind farm, on the state’s Yorke Peninsula.

The 197-turbine wind farm will cover a 40km area of farmland and will deliver energy via an undersea HVDC cable crossing the Gulf of St Vincent to connect to Adelaide’s grid.

Developers Senvion Australia, formerly REpower Australia, received approval in February. Construction on the 600MW, 197-turbine wind farm could begin later this year, with completion of the wind farm expected by 2016.

The final wind farm layout conditions stipulate no overhead power lines and an undersea cable across the Gulf St Vincent, connecting the project into the South Australian transmission network at Globe Derby Park.

The direct local benefits have been estimated at $8 million per annum for the 25 year life of the wind farm. The project is also estimated to create up to 500 jobs during peak construction and 50 ongoing jobs for its life.

Senvion Australia managing director Chris Judd congratulated the South Australian Government on its leadership and vision in the development of renewable energy for the state.

“The Ceres project showcases South Australia’s status as a global clean energy leader and will generate enough clean electricity to power 225,000 homes each year,” he said.

“This is a unique renewable energy project with unprecedented environmental credentials. We have taken in the concerns of the community in our final layout and we are determined to continue to work with the Yorke Peninsula community to make this Australia’s best wind farm with significant local benefits.”

Now development has been approved, Senvion Australia will concentrate on completing the connection approval and finalising commercial feasibility.

Senvion Australia has more than 1000MW of wind energy capacity currently installed in around 15 wind farm projects, with a further 285MW currently under construction.