One of the most innovative sustainable energy projects in Australia has been officially opened.
Energy Minister Colin Barnett said today Western Power’s Denham wind diesel project was the jewel in the crown of an impressive range of projects in Western Australia.
Mr Barnett said wind energy would contribute a regular 50 per cent of the town’s power and on occasions 100 per cent.
The $3 million Denham wind diesel project featured a wind farm, diesel power station and an energy management system based on two fly wheels all co-ordinated automatically by a sophisticated control system.
“The prospects for this innovative wind-diesel combination are exciting,” Mr Barnett said.
“There is considerable interest being shown around Australia as methods of reducing fuel costs and greenhouse emissions attract more attention.
“Sustainable energy projects in Western Australia such as wind, hydro, solar and landfill gas projects and the Remote Area Power Systems (RAPS) have saved the equivalent of 1.6 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions as the result of less fuel being used for power generation.
“The State Government’s Green Policy encourages the development of further sustainable energy projects to capitalise on the changing community mood.
“Western Power is leading the way with plans for the Albany wind farm which will be the biggest grid-connected wind farm in Australia.”
Mr Barnett said Denham with its abundant and consistent winds was an appropriate site for a wind energy project.
He said like many remote locations, Denham had survived and developed on a healthy diet of innovation and resourcefulness.
This project epitomised those characteristics.
A single wind turbine on the outskirts of town had been operating successfully for the past two years contributing up to 20 per cent of the town’s electricity.
It made sense to develop the concept further.
With commitment and forethought by Western Power, Powercorp, the Australian Greenhouse Office and the local community this small original project was expanded.
Now there were three wind turbines and an Australian developed control and energy management systems.
“It’s an Australian-first which, while not rivalling the Monkey Mia dolphins as a visitor attraction, certainly adds to the district’s natural attractions by capitalising on the natural resources,” Mr Barnett said.
“All three components operate with the existing diesel power station - the link being the ‘smart’ control system.
“This type of innovative matching of new systems with established and proven technology will keep Australia at the forefront of sustainable energy applications.”
The project was funded by the State Government - $2 million - and the Federal Government - $1 million.
Mr Barnett congratulated the project partners - Western Power, Darwin company Powercorp and Enercon of German which supplied the wind turbine and flywheels.
Media contact: Diana Callander 9222 9699