Opened in February 2010, the Clements Gap wind farm was Pacific Hydro’s first project in South Australia.
With a capacity of 56.7 MW, the Clements Gap wind farm produces enough clean electricity to power the equivalent needs of around 33,000 homes each year, abating an estimated 154,000 tonnes of harmful greenhouse pollution annually. The turbines installed are Suzlon S88 wind turbine generators, rated at 2.1MW each, with a maximum hub height of 79m and maximum blade tip height of 126.5m.
The 27-generator project is located in the State’s mid north, approximately 20km north east of Port Broughton. The wind energy potential in the area has been recognised for many years with a number of homesteads in the region first gaining access to electricity through wind mills in the mid 1900s.
Over 400 people across 50 different work categories including civil and electrical, transport services, crane and truck drivers, welders and metal fixers were employed during the nine months of construction.
Pacific Hydro aims to ensure as many local jobs are created during each project as possible and at Clements Gap, all contractors for the project were South Australian based, with many workers residing locally.
The strong, continued support of the local community through the five-year development and construction phase, along with proactive South Australian Government policies, sustained encouragement from the Port Pirie Regional Council, and a national commitment to a Renewable Energy Target have all contributed to the success of the project.
It was local residents who first brought the potential of the site to Pacific Hydro’s attention. After initial investigations the site was pursued due to its strong consistent winds, close proximity to the grid, compatible land use and supportive landholders and community members.
The site’s potential for a wind farm was further enhanced by the land being used primarily for cropping and grazing. These farming activities happily coexist with wind farms – stock are known to use the turbines for shelter during inclement weather and the impact on the cropping area is minimal as the turbines only take up around one percent of land.
As part of the operation of the project, Pacific Hydro continues to invest in local community initiatives via the Sustainable Communities Fund. More information can be found here.