Musselroe Wind Farm provides fresh energy for local economy

The 168MW Musselroe Wind Farm in Tasmania’s north-east is now generating enough energy to supply the needs of up to 50,000 homes, equivalent to the residential power needs of Burnie and Devonport combined.

After beginning construction in December 2011, the $394 million wind farm was officially opened by Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings on January 15, with Hydro Tasmania chairman David Crean saying the farm adds considerable value to the state’s generation portfolio.

“It also complements perfectly our hydro capability, providing the renewable energy certificates to meet our retail obligations and generating profit and value for our shareholders, the people of Tasmania,”he said.

Dr Crean said as Australia’s largest renewable energy generator, Hydro Tasmania was committed to strategic new investment in renewable energy as well as investment on existing assets.

“The Musselroe project has only been made possible because of the national renewable energy target (RET), which began in 2001 under the Howard Government and has been supported by successive federal governments since,” he said.

“The RET is a key driver for investment in wind farms as well as for the refurbishment and upgrade of our existing hydro plant. Its continuation will support investment and job creation throughout rural and regional Tasmania and Australia, as well as contributing to energy security and greenhouse gas abatement in the Australian energy sector.”

Musselroe Wind Farm is operated under a joint venture between Shenhua Clean Energy (SCE) and Hydro Tasmania, an entity known as Woolnorth Wind Farm Holdings. The joint venture also operates two wind farms in north-west Tasmania at Studland Bay and Bluff Point. SCE owns a 75 per cent share in the wind farms and Hydro Tasmania retains 25 per cent.

The Musselroe Wind Farm has been generating electricity into the Tasmanian grid since April 2013 and the full 56 turbines have progressively come on line since that time.

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) has congratulated Hydro Tasmania and Vestas on the successful opening of Tasmania’s largest wind farm, the 56-turbine Musselroe Wind Farm in the state’s north-east.

The council’s chief executive officer David Green said the official opening of the landmark wind energy project demonstrated the economic benefits clean energy could bring to regional and state economies.

“The Musselroe Wind Farm has employed Tasmanians in construction jobs since 2011 and the steel towers for the project were manufactured locally in Launceston. But the jobs and investment in Tasmania would not have been possible without the Renewable Energy Target, which is supporting the development of new clean energy projects right across Australia,” Mr Green said.

“The Renewable Energy Target has already generated more than $18 billion in investment for Australia. It has led to the installation of more than two million household clean energy systems such as solar panels across the country, alongside large-scale clean energy projects such as the Musselroe Wind Farm.

“With a review of the target scheduled for this year, we’re confident the current bipartisan support for the target will remain and will see the delivery of more low-cost clean energy.”