The Starfish Hill Wind Farm is situated across two hills on the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula near Cape Jervis. It was the first wind farm in South Australia. The wind turbines were supplied by Danish company NEG Micon (now Vestas).
Starfish Hill Wind Farm will reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to 84,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year.
Number of Turbines
Starfish Hill Wind Farm produces 34.5 megawatts of power, or enough energy to meet the needs of approximately18,000 households in South Australia.
The Starfish Hill Wind Farm is located on two hills. Starfish Hill rises to a height of 306 metres along a north-south ridge, about three kilometres from the coast. Salt Creek Hill, to the west, is another north-south ridge, with a height of 220 metres. There are eight turbines on Starfish Hill, and 15 on Salt Creek Hill. The land around Starfish and Salt Creek hills had been previously cleared for grazing, with only small amounts of native vegetation. The site has consistently strong winds, is accessible to a major transport link, and close to the electricity grid.
The Starfish Hill Wind Farm will reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to 2.1 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent during its forecast 25 year operating life. This is achieved by replacing coal or gas in energy production processes through harnessing the natural resource of wind.
The development of this wind farm near a grid also helps avoid the losses associated with transporting electricity long distances.
Investments in renewable energy are environmentally and commercially sustainable. Australian Government renewable energy schemes allow producers of renewable energy to sell the power generated and obtain Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). Energy retailers are required to purchase RECs to support the generation of renewable energy and achieve renewable energy targets.
The 23 wind turbine towers have a hub height of 68 metres each and a ground to blade tip height of 100 metres. The blades are fixed-pitch with air-brake tip sections which deploy to slow the turbine when stopping.
The Vestas NM64C turbines were manufactured in Denmark. Each generator produces 1,500 kilowatts of electricity.
The 68 metre tubular steel towers were produced in South Australia by Air-Ride Technologies.
Electricity produced by the wind turbines is fed into the 66 kilovolt distribution network via a 33 kilovolt underground collection cable system to each tower.
The South Australian Government approved the project in February 2002 following extensive consultation with the local community, specialist advisers and contractors. Consideration was given to native vegetation, flora and fauna, Indigenous and European heritage, bird life, visual amenity, noise, tourism and economic matters.
Starfish Hill Wind Farm and the Cape Jervis to Yankalilla transmission line were commissioned in July 2003, at a total cost of $65 million.
Starfish Hill Wind Farm was developed by Starfish Hill Wind Farm Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tarong Energy, representing an investment of more than $65 million.
RATCH-Australia acquired the wind farm in December 2007.