Wind farm here to stay, says Wyatt

Talitha WolfeAlbany Advertiser

Albany Wind Farm’s future is secure, according to WA Energy Minister Ben Wyatt, who cast doubt on its future in State Parliament last week.

Commissioned in 2001, the 12-turbine Albany Wind Farm is the cornerstone asset of the City of Albany’s 100 per cent renewable energy pledge.

In Parliament last week, Mr Wyatt cast a shadow of doubt when he said the wind farm would reach the end of its life in early to mid-2020.

“Probably in the term of the next government, whoever that is, the Albany Wind Farm will reach the end of its life... I do not think anyone wants to pull it down,” he said.

The comment came after Mr Wyatt announced a joint venture between State-owned electricity provider Synergy and a private investor, reported to be infrastructure investor Dutch Infrastructure Fund, to fund the State’s obligations under Federal green energy laws.

Under the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target scheme, 33,000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy are required to be produced nationally by 2020 and those levels maintained until 2030.

The private investor will co-develop future Synergy renewable projects, with the Albany and Grasmere wind farms also expected to be transferred into the privately controlled fund.

Mr Wyatt confirmed the future of the “iconic” Albany and Grasmere wind farms.

“A life extension of the asset will have tourism, environmental and local employment benefits,” he said. “The long-term future of the asset will not change, and it will continue to generate as it currently is and remain a feature of the Albany region. In order to meet its LRET obligations, pushing forward with renewables investment in the SWIS will allow the State to meet future demand effectively and at the lowest cost.”

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