The first Mt Mercer Wind Farm turbine only began generating power last November 19. Two months later, 15 of its planned 64 turbines are up and running – and residents who live close by are cautiously awaiting the wind farm hitting full capacity.
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Meanwhile, a purpose- built, gas-fired power station, designed to step in during peak demand is running at full capacity, according to operator Origin Energy. The region’s wind farms have been unable to alleviate demand pressures. A spokeswoman for AGL said the company’s 140 turbine Macarthur wind farm had limited output because of weather conditions.
The winds of change have blown through plans for a wind farm at Palmer, as dozens of proposed turbines have been moved and a planning application pushed back to February in response to community feedback.
The Department of Planning’s decision to recommend the approval of a 43-turbine wind farm at Flyers Creek, 20 kilometres south of Orange, has ended years of uncertainty for the group opposing the $195 million development.
Academic discussion continues as to whether a fleet of grid-connected wind farms, widely dispersed across a single grid network, can provide a reliable electricity supply. One opinion is that wide geographical dispersion of wind farms provides sufficient smoothing of the intermittent and highly variable output of individual wind farms enabling the wind farm fleet to provide for base load demand. In an examination of the 5-minute time-averaged wind farm operational data for 21 large wind farms connected to the eastern Australian grid - geographically the largest, most widely dispersed, single interconnected grid in the world (AER, ) - this paper challenges that opinion. The conclusion of this paper is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of this page.