KRudd opens Bungendore Wind Farm

RiotPost 19 November 2009 29

Anyone who has driven past Lake George since construction began in 2006 would have been hard pressed to have missed the majestic view of sleek modern wind turbines gracing the hills across the lake in nearby Tarago.

Well despite ABC Online stating Bungendore not Tarago (it’s close) Renewable Power Ventures Capital Wind Farm is the largest in NSW with 67 turbines.

As almost expected these days’ India PR Wire has more actual details than most of the local coverage, possibly in this case because the Chairman of Suzlon Energy, turbine’s supplier, is non other than Tulsi Tanti – India’s ‘Wind Man’ (pictured).

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29 Responses to KRudd opens Bungendore Wind Farm
Rosco Rosco 6:03 pm 09 Apr 10

I’ve just come back from a trip out Bungendore way and every wind turbine I could see was dead still.

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 3:39 pm 22 Nov 09

Having just returned from a weekend in central NSW, it occurred to me that noone seems to whinge when we have windmills to run water bores (ie traditional Australian type windmill), but people bitch about electricity generating windmills. Curious. Frankly, I think the NIMBYs need to STFU and get over it – it’s a top idea.

moneypenny2612 moneypenny2612 2:06 pm 22 Nov 09

Spain and Portugal both have some of the largest wind energy capacity in Europe. Most are located in mostly sparsely populated areas, so the NIMBYs are catered for.

It’s quite an impressive sight to see when driving the Portguese coast or across the Spanish plains. Australia should be a perfect location for this kind of thing – solar energy too once we figure out the storage issues.

Unfortunately if the proposed CPRS is any indication, we will be addicted to coal – or at least propping up the coal industry – for a long time. Why we are so afraid of re-tooling inefficient or dying industries is beyond me. No pain, no gain. Instead of propping up cars or coal, think about the new industries = new wealth and work opportunities.

Australia should be a leader in renewable energy but we don’t seem to want to be.

Ceej1973 Ceej1973 12:23 am 22 Nov 09

I stood under one of these yesterday here in North Germany. Beleive me they are bigger and scarier to stand under than what they look like from a distance. Where we stood at the tower base, it takes about 8 adults arm to arm to link around tower base. The total weight of the average size turbine is 70t (internet). The average tower height of the turbines here are 80m with a rotor span of between 45-60m, depending on area. The rotors are set to a max rotating speed, but can get up to 320km/hr on some models.Standing under one yesterday, it seemed like the rotors were turning way faster than some of the cars that pass us on the auto bahns at around 180-200km/h. The model used in Germany is the Danish Vesta, the model that is commonly used in Australia (500 in total now I think). As for noise pollution, freinds in our town who live on the towns outskirts nearest to the closest turbine say they can ocassionally hear them, but only a dull wizz which is a hub that needs oiling probably, and that turbine is up-hill and 300m as the crow flies.

Limp Jimmy Limp Jimmy 3:01 pm 21 Nov 09

Yes well, the cost of energy from fossil fuel-based sources are only set to rise dramatically in historic proportions…

As an aside, I can confirm they look great at Lake George where hang glider pilots enjoy one of the best inland novice soaring sites in the world. It’s an amazing place, now only improved by being able to see the approaching seabreeze 40 mins before it hits the ridge on the western side — golly.

You can see what I mean from last week’s footage at

westyonline westyonline 4:15 pm 20 Nov 09

the power goes into the “National Grid” which all power companies draw from,the all dont have their own infrastructure!!it may well feed the de sal plant at kernell,but it also feeds the wilderness society head office etc etc!!snowy hydro produces green power,always has,but in times of low demand(Off Peak)they use energy from coal fired power stations and what ever else is feeding the grid at the time(Not Solar)to pump huge amounts of water back up the catchment areas to be used for hydroelec plants!!its like owning a toyota prius,good in theory!
we need more of these wind farms,huge ones to cope with the ever increasing demand in power,we should also look at wave action generators..but afterall we live in the most developed third world country on earth….CATCH UP AUSTRALIA!!!

Funky1 Funky1 2:03 pm 20 Nov 09

Watched part of a show on TV the other week that highlighted the wind turbine industry in Denmark. Apparently they produce around 1/3 or the world’s wind turbines. Now wouldn’t this be a great industry for Aus to invest in. We have the raw resources and surely we would have the know-how. I also recall somewhere that an Aussie company is making these things in China for their domestic market.

Also on this show they featured a dairy farmer who bought one of these wind turbines about 10 years ago for around 1.2 million (don’t know if was the equivalent of Aus or US $$) but he was now making around 200k per annum from what he was returning to the grid.

Interesting stuff!

Braddon Boy Braddon Boy 11:10 am 20 Nov 09

Clearly, many people don’t understand the basics of electrical reticulation.

The wind farm is directly connected to the Eastern Australian Electricity Grid (connecting the better part of all of Qld, NSW, Vic, SA, ACT and even Tas). Special power lines have not been constructed between Bungendore and the desal plant in Sydney. The electricity produced from the wind farm will simply offset the electricity used by the desal plant.

It’s not as simple as being able to say “electricity from here will be used there”. Nor can you say that 100% of electricity from a particular plant in Qld is exported to NSW. You can however say, Qld in total produce excess electricity and export it to NSW, but not from which plant.

Because the wind farm is already connected to the grid, the power is already being used and less coal/gas is being burned in thermal plants. Or less water is being released from the already dangerously low hydro electricity plants. Probably a combination of both.

Although it is universally accepted that “whole of life” costs for thermal (coal/gas) plants is currently less than emerging renewables, with greater investment, R&D and economies of scale, these tables will turn within the next few years to a decade.

Thumper Thumper 10:59 am 20 Nov 09

I’d like to see more research put into using tides and/ or currents as well as means of alternative energy.

Thoroughly Smashed Thoroughly Smashed 9:23 am 20 Nov 09

Davo nsw: Your source for that information?

Chop71 Chop71 8:12 am 20 Nov 09

Just another opportunity for the nerd to wear his hard hat.

Pandy Pandy 7:08 am 20 Nov 09

KRudd is Wong on climate change.

dvaey dvaey 4:51 am 20 Nov 09

Davo nsw said :

It takes 24,000 windmills to produce 700megawatts they cost 3mill each so the cost is $72,000,000,000 for 24,000 windmills.

Not that Im disagreeing with your point, but these turbines each produce 2.1MW of power, which makes about 330 to produce 700 megawatts, not 24,000. Also, do your figures include fuel/maintenance cost? None of the linked articles seems to have any indication on the cost of this farm to produce that amount of energy.

I also like how the ABC article starts off saying the windfarm can power 60,000 homes and its not until half way through the article that they explain its being used for a new industrial use in Sydney. Are the turbines just going to sit there pumping out power to nowhere until the NSW govt decides they want to use the power, or will it actually be available for homes to use?

GregW GregW 12:32 am 20 Nov 09

Davo: If it were me writing your post and I was claiming that wind power is orders of magnitude more expensive than gas turbines, I hope I would check my facts.

2 Points: This farm has 67 turbines and produces 40 MW, therefore 700 MW should require in the order of 1200 turbines (assuming no shortage of sites with sufficient wind resources). At $3 mill each this is $3.6 billion not $72 billion.

Secondly the infrastructure costs of a gas turbine are secondary to the ongoing fuel costs to run it, so you can see that the difference in price is actually quite small.

George: The farm is indirectly paid for by increases to the bills of Sydney water users. The desal plant is expected to be idle most of the time so they are in-effect subsidising renewable energy during those periods (I assume the government will just resell at a lower rate but could be mistaken).

OYM OYM 11:10 pm 19 Nov 09

Davo, I think your maths may be a little out. Each of those turbines can produce 2megawatts, therefore 350 would be required, not 24,000. Using the same cost per windmill you used, the total cost for a 700mW wind farm would be a little over 1billion.

I saw a recent comparison where the cost per mW of solar is now less than the cost of a nuclear power plant. And the risk factor is about several bazillion times less.

The biggest challenge for the future won’t be the cheap renewable energy it will be ways of storing this power to match with peak demand periods. That’s just an engineering problem though; it can be solved with a variety of technologies such as flywheels, compressed air, water to hydrogen for fuel cells etc. Or you could just use the renewable part of your power for variable applications such as desalination etc.

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 8:44 pm 19 Nov 09

George said :

I don’t mind the wind farm but it does annoy me that the power generated from the turbines will be used to power Sydney desalination plant. Once again the Sydney-centric government rapes resources from the country for the city.


Davo nsw Davo nsw 7:41 pm 19 Nov 09

Here ya go lets see what “green” power will cost you, a little snippit from an email that I received from a relative who works in a power station in QLD (of which 100% of the power goes directly in to NSW)

It takes 24,000 windmills to produce 700megawatts they cost 3mill each so the cost is $72,000,000,000 for 24,000 windmills.

Kogan Creek cost 1.2billion for 750 megawatts

A gas turbine costs about 1mill for every megawatt

Expect electricity cost to skyrocket if we are going for green power.
Yep gotta love them windmills

Mr Evil Mr Evil 5:52 pm 19 Nov 09

Thumper said :

I hate them, they make bats explode.


It’s all okay: Kevin will just add them to the list of groups he needs to say sorry to.

George George 4:00 pm 19 Nov 09

I don’t mind the wind farm but it does annoy me that the power generated from the turbines will be used to power Sydney desalination plant. Once again the Sydney-centric government rapes resources from the country for the city.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 3:44 pm 19 Nov 09

This old (2006) article from the Crimes shows there’s probably a few unhappy folks at the moment:

I don’t have a problem with wind farms, I think they actually look pretty cool. Although, I’m largely unaffected here in my Canberra home, haha.

I’ve also had a few close up looks at the Millicent farm (SA) and the one on the range near Gunning. Can’t say the noise has ever been too noticeable, but then a quick tourist visit is a lot different to living next door 24/7.

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