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First Wind Tower Ever To Feature Australian Indigenous Art – Hornsdale Switches On

  • New wind farm in South Australia will help the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) achieve its 100% renewable energy target by 2020
  • Energization of Phase 1 commemorated with announcement that indigenous Australian artwork from the local Nadjuri and Nukunu people will be featured on a wind tower – in a world-first
  • Powering 70,000 homes (in Phase 1), the CO2 reductions saved by Hornsdale wind farm upon completion will be equivalent to taking either 290,000 cars off the road or planting 1.9 million trees

South Australia’s newest wind farm, the Neoen and Siemens developed Hornsdale project, was switched on to the grid in a  special ‘energisation ceremony’ which included the announcement that local indigenous Australian art will feature on one of the wind towers in a world-first.

At the opening ceremony in Hornsdale, South Australian and ACT government officials and the local community came together to switch on the first turbines of Phase 1 (comprising a total of 32 turbines) of the project developed by Neoen - the French renewable energy producer and developer of the Hornsdale Wind Farm - and Siemens Australia. 

Xavier Barbaro, Neoen’s global CEO who was in Australia for the celebration said that he was proud to see his company’s ability to deliver on 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. With almost 40% 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, said Mr Barbaro. 

“Neoen has been able to use our extensive wind and solar assets to expand rapidly in Australia since we started operations here in 2012. We look forward continued success in Hornsdale and across the country. 

“Local communities play a big role in the success of wind farms and in creating a sustainable economy and it’s encouraging to see how welcoming people in Hornsdale and surrounding communities have been.” 

The wind farm features the latest in blade technology that harvests more wind energy – increasing the annual energy yield of the turbines. Each rotor of the 32 state-of-the-art turbines sweeps a total of 10,000m2 – an area equal to 320 school buses parked together. The high-tech Hornsdale wind farm uses the latest data and digitalisation platforms; every rotation is remotely monitored to increase effectiveness and efficiency. 

Siemens Australia is the turn-key builder of the wind farm and local Siemens Head of Energy businesses David Pryke said that it reinforced Siemens’ commitment to investing in Australia’s future.

"Siemens has over 30 years’ experience in wind power managing over 16,800 turbines globally. It's important to continually develop technology to support a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future for communities and the Hornsdale wind farm is a strong testament to this focus for Siemens, said Mr Pryke.

“This project is the epitome of partnership combined with the best technology to bring ingenuity to life for the benefit of society. It’s good for the environment, good for the economy and good for the community – all critical ingredients for sustainable success.”

Since the start of the Hornsdale project, Neoen has worked with the Northern Areas Council in Jamestown by funding community grants for projects. Speaking about the support to local communities, Colin Byles, the CEO of the Northern Areas Council highlighted the many benefits to the local area.

The impact of this project is immense and has injected a new energy into the area. “You can see the impact through increased patronage of hotels and other accommodation, cafes and small retailers. Also, farmers benefit by having a regular source of income and road infrastructure that even benefits local volunteer fire fighters with new access roads,” said Mr Byles.

The local community has also benefited by direct community funding.

 “The Council believes that the Hornsdale Wind Farm Community Funding is of immense value to our small community organisations. The small organisations do not qualify for the major grants offered by government and the funding from the Hornsdale wind farm provides them with the opportunity to undertake projects that they would never been able to commence. All these organisations are run by volunteers with minimum income streams coming from their day to day operations.” 

Source: Neoen Australia Press Release

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