Albany Wind Farm

Albany Wind FarmNeil McKnight668 x 380 px. 42.3 Kb.

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Albany Wind Farm

The Albany Wind Farm prod­uces 80 per­c­ent of Albany's electric­ity needs. It was the largest wind farm in the South­ern Hemisphere when opened in 2001.

In­it­i­ally, the Wind Farm was crea­ted using twelve 1.8-megawatt E66 En­ercon turbines im­por­ted from Germany. These were placed on the 80-metre cliff at Sand patch, about 12 km from the Albany City centre, fac­ing the South­ern Ocean.

Each 65-metre tall tower is topped with huge nose cone and three fibreglass and kevlar blades, weigh­ing some 14 tonnes. Each blade is 35 metres long. The speed at the blade tips can re­ach 270 kph.

The towers auto­matic­ally track the wind and adjust the blade pitch to maxim­ise the power harves­ted, generat­ing useful power from a slight breeze of just 7 kph. De­signed to withstand lightn­ing strikes, the towers will shut down auto­matic­ally at high winds over 120 kph.

In 2011, a further six 2.3-megawatt E70 En­ercon turbines were added to form the adjac­ent Grassmere Wind Farm, bring­ing the total capac­ity to 35.4 megawatts. This gener­ates about 80% of Albany's electric­ity needs, sav­ing about 109,000 tonnes of CO2 em­issions annu­ally. Because of the clifftop loc­ation, adequ­ate wind is near­ly always avail­able.

was the largest wind farm in the South­ern Hemisphere when opened in 2001

The Albany Wind Farm is owned by Verve En­ergy, also re­spons­ible for wind farms at Esper­ance and Kalbarri. Dur­ing con­struc­tion, great care was taken to pre­serve the nat­ural bush sett­ing and nat­ive flora.

Facili­ties in­clude con­veni­ent park­ing, assess­ible toilets, in­form­ative signage and a series of scenic lookouts networked by mean­der­ing pathways and boardwalks and a con­nec­tion to the Bibbulmun Track. Sand Patch look­out with its spect­acular views of the South­ern Ocean is just a short walk from the car park.

The Wind Farm is open to the public every day, free of charge.

Postcard Avail­able

Article updated 11/05/2018.