Stage 1 of the Snowtown Wind Farm was officially launched on Sunday 2nd November with a "fair dinkum" Australian experience in the Mid North of South Australia, approximately 2 hours drive north of Adelaide.
The local community enjoyed a day of live music, market stalls, childrens activities, photography presentations of the wind farm construction process, free site bus tours to the wind farm, and an official opening ceremony attended by the Hon Mike Rann Premier of South Australia, Directors from TrustPower & Suzlon, and local VIP guests.
This ceremony included the announcement of a Snowtown Community Trust Fund that will benefit local groups, organisations, and events in the region over the next 20 years. This investment, coupled with the boost to the local economy from jobs and spending, is positive news for a town and region that have endured tough times in recent years due to farming droughts.
The Snowtown Wind Farm was jointly developed by Wind Prospect and by the NZ utility TrustPower. Stage 1 of the project consists of 47 Suzlon S88 turbines with a total capacity of 98.7MW. The project's development approval is for up to 130 turbines, so the project may be expanded by TrustPower in future stages.
A feature of the launch was the installation of a 45 metre wind turbine blade in the town centre. Wind Prospect believe this might be a first anywhere in the world, and not only provides a stunning backdrop on the main street, but also acts as a positive tourist attraction - given the towns infamous history.
South Australia only possesses 8% of the Australian population, but now (including Snowtown) contributes an impressive 58% of Australia's wind energy needs. This success would not be possible without the positive support and genuine interest from local residents in the Mid North region. This was no more evident than on Sunday 2nd November when 500+ locals visited the wind farm with free bus tours leaving the town centre every 15 minutes.
Congratulations to the Snowtown Wind Farm.