The first wind turbines at a major renewable energy project in South Australia have been activated.
The Hornsdale wind farm is being developed by French renewable energy producer Neoen and built by Siemens Australia.
Seven of the 32 turbines in Phase 1 of the farm in the Mid North of South Australia were switched on to the grid following an “energisation ceremony” on site on July 7.
Xavier Barbaro, Neoen’s global CEO who was in Australia for the celebration, said he was proud to work towards ambitious clean energy targets.
“Hornsdale is a great example of the global strength of France and Germany working together to provide clean energy for 70,000 Australian homes and new employment, training and investment opportunities in South Australia and the ACT,” he said.
“With almost 40 per cent of the country’s clean energy produced by wind farms, Australia’s renewable energy footprint is increasing in size and global relevance – making it a great place to invest and do business.”
The remainder of the Phase 1 turbines are expected to come on line in the coming months.
It was also announced the Hornsdale project would feature local indigenous Australian art to acknowledge the Nadjuri and Nukunu people on one of the wind towers in a world-first.
The artwork by Chris Angrave and Louise Brown is still being finalised.
Hornsdale was awarded a contract to deliver 100MW to the ACT in February 2015 as part of the first reverse auction, enabling Phase 1 to go ahead.
Under the reverse auction, companies were invited to put forward bids to the Australian Capital Territory Government detailing how they could generate the greatest amount of renewable energy at the least price.
In December it secured a second 20-year contract with the ACT Government, which will allow Phase 2 of the project.