Friday, 26 October 2007

Sustainability is showcased

Summit Sun
Thursday 18/10/2007 Page: 5

FOUR different Jindabyne houses were visited during the Snowy Mountains Climate Friendly, Sustainable Houses Open Day on Sunday. The climate-savvy houses showcased solar hotwater systems, wind turbines, solar hydronic heating and a solar cell powerful enough to power an entire house. The highlight of the Open Day involved local couple Col and Kerry Wooden. The couple were able see where they were using unnecessary amounts of power using a new electricity meter and were then able to reduce their power usage by half by installing a solar cell.

This was in addition to the energy saving they made by converting their electric hot water heater to a solar heating system with gas boosting. Visitors were impressed when they heard that the houses with passive solar space heating did not need additional heating. Visitors to the Open Day took away valuable energy-saving tips and ideas to apply to their own houses.

Net giant in carbon plan

MX Brisbane
Tuesday 23/10/2007 Page: 6

Yahoo has revealed plans to be carbon neutral by the end of the year by backing hydro power in Brazil and wind energy in India. The internet giant is following through on a promise it made earlier in the year to offset an estimated 250.000 metric tonnes of greenhouse gases spewed as a result of power used by the California-based firm. That's the equivalent of 35.000 cars off the road for a year or shutting down the Las Vegas strip for two months. Many Silicon Valley companies have announced they are going "green" with earth-friendly programs and practices.

GE values contract

Australian Financial Review
Wednesday 24/10/2007 Page: 18

General Electric has signed a US$740 million ($825 million) contract with Portuguese utility, EDP-Energias de Portugal, to build 281 wind turbines.

Open to new ideas

Waste Management & Environment
October, 2007 Page: 9

The WA Water Corporation has dangled a carrot in front of companies touting novel renewable energy technologies, calling for bids from them to supply 20 per cent of the power to the planned Southern Seawater desalination Plant. Some 160GWh is to come from tried and tested renewable energy sources, such as wind farms, but the authority wants up to 40GWh per year from technology not yet commercially proven on a large scale.

Also, Carnegie Corporation has opened a $10 million share float to commercialise its wave power technology, which it's pitching as a green way to pump water for desalination plants. The CETO technology is an array of submerged buoys attached to seabed pump units. As they move with the motion of the waves they drive the pumps, which pressurises and pipes seawater. Carnegie hopes to raise $6-8 million to take it to commercial-ready status.

Hopetoun Wind-Diesel Power System

Australian Power & Energy News
Thursday 25/10/2007 Page: 32

Verve Energy has tapped into the wind resource of the south coast of WA for local electricity supplies. After successfully building wind farms at Albany and Esperance. Verve Energy now has two wind-diesel power systems operating at the smaller coastal communities of Bremer Bay and Hopetoun. Hopetoun is experiencing rapid expansion as the result of the construction of the massive Ravensthorpe nickel project about 30kms away. All services, including power, are under pressure. To ease that pressure, the wind-diesel power system was built. One of its advantages was the modular nature of the system - wind turbines and diesel engines can be added as the electricity demand grows.

WA Energy Minister Francis Logan opened the Hopetoun wind-diesel power system. When he visited the site, some 55% of the town's electricity was being produced by the two 600kW wind turbines from the brisk south-westerly wind that was blowing. The remainder was coming from the diesel generators, which have been modified to operate at much lower-loads than normal diesel engines. And, monitoring the performance of both power sources was the Powercorp wind-diesel management system. It irons out the fluctuations of the gusting wind and ensures that the low-load diesels track the load so that there is a seamless integration.

Verve Energy Managing Director Shirley In't Veld is excited about the prospects for wind-diesel wind systems, both in WA and in other parts of Australia. "These systems are particularly suited for end-of grid applications and for isolated communities. "Impressive savings in fuel and greenhouse emissions can be achieved with this unique combination of technologies. "At Hopetoun or example, some 700,000 litres of fuel and 2100 tonnes of CO2 are saved each year," Ms In't Veld said.

At Denham, the community on Shark Bay, home of the famous Monkey Mia dolphins, wind energy consistently provides better than 40% of the town's electricity. An extra wind turbine and low-load diesel generator are being installed this year. At Coral Bay, gateway to the fabulous Ningaloo Reef, a new wind-diesel power system is replacing several private generators. Again, this system, built to cope with the high demand of the popular holiday seasons, can be expanded as the community grows. wind-diesel is ideal for this environmentally sensitive region. Verve Energy is pursuing other opportunities for the wind-diesel technology.

Moving forward like the wind

Circular Head Chronicle
Wednesday 17/10/2007 Page: 21

TASMANIA will embark on a $50 million investment in wind energy development to play a leading role in the international fight against climate change, Premier Paul Lennon announced this week. Mr Lennon announced in his State of the State speech that Hydro Tasmania would receive a cash injection to enable it to take a further equity interest in Roaring 40s, a joint venture company with China Light and Power. He said the funds would enable Roaring 40s to develop new wind energy projects in China that would help tackle the country's high rate of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Premier said Tasmania had the chance to stamp itself as the world leader in renewable wind energy and the $50 million funding transfer was only the beginning of a potentially much bigger investment. "This will be one of the single-biggest investments in renewable wind technology by a state government in Australian history," Mr Lennon said. "It will also enable Roaring 40s to export more of its technological expertise to wind-farming projects, particularly in China.

"It will highlight again what an important part Tasmania can play in the global community. We are investing in better renewable energy outcomes for Tasmania while helping the rest of the world with our skills, experience and leadership. Tasmania will be exporting innovative solutions to world problems." Funds for the wind energy expansion will be transferred from Transend Networks to Hydro Tasmania to allow Roaring 40s to capitalise on immediate growth opportunities.

"Transend's balance sheet is among the strongest in the National Electricity Market and this move will give Roaring 40s, a business half owned by the people of Tasmania, the chance to build a renewable energy future right across the Asian region," the Premier said. "We are investing in the future of wind-generated electricity at home and abroad. This investment will support Roaring 40s to expand alternative energy options here in Tasmania." Mr Lennon said energy use was one of the biggest contributors to climate change and innovation was required to overcome the challenges it presented.

"There is no doubt that climate change is the single greatest threat facing our planet," he said. "It is a challenge that requires urgent action, no matter where we live. "Projections tell us there will be a major warming of the earth's average surface temperatures by the year 2100. The risks to our communities are considerable. The changes caused by global warming will affect Tasmania's temperature and wind and rainfall patterns." Mr Lennon said Tasmania was fortunate to be located directly in the path of one of the strongest and most consistent air-streams in the world, the roaring forties.

"Tasmania is uniquely-positioned to be a world leader in this area and under this Government, we will seize that opportunity," he said. "In Tasmania, our geography and climate give us tremendous natural advantages. "Our hydro dams mean that Tasmanian energy has for decades been produced in a renewable way. While other Australian states have relied on the burning of coal and fossil fuels, Tasmania has harnessed the forces of nature to produce clean energy." "But we can do still better. The next step in our development is to better harness another geographical advantage that Tasmania enjoys."

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

A cleaner Cowra

Cowra Guardian
Friday 19/10/2007 Page: 3

Locals are keen on renewable energy but when it comes to nuclear energy, we don't want it in or anywhere near our backyards. The newly formed Cowra Local Emissions Action Network (CLEAN) received these responses when they sought local opinions on climate change recently. Answers to the survey were broken down into student responses and adult answers, with 321 replies received. CLEAN found that there were no major difference between the attitudes of children and adults surveyed.

Sixty per cent of respondents believe temperature, droughts, bushfires, severe storms, the cost of living and risks to health will increase with a changing climate. The most startling figure was that 60 per cent of the students surveyed felt that business opportunities would decline. Most of the respondents felt that there was a need for a new source of power and the overwhelming majority of respondents wanted renewable energy sources to be utilised. Ninety-seven per cent of those surveyed wanted to see solar power utilised, and 93 per cent wanted to see wind energy used. One quarter of those who responded wanted to see nuclear energy explored further as an option. Approximately 80 per cent said they would not want to see nuclear waste pass though this region.

CLEAN is currently in the process of organising a clean food week for January next year, during which the group will encourage locals to eat food produced locally. Organiser, Gordon Refshauge said he believed the response to the survey indicated a keen interest in environmental issues. He said most people who responded considered themselves well informed. CLEAN will be having a meeting today, Friday, October 19 from 7:30pm at the Library multi purpose room. New members are keenly sought.

Green power encouraged

Kalgoorlie Miner
Tuesday 23/10/2007 Page: 3

GOLDFIELDS residents have been encouraged to show their support for renewable energy sources by starting small with their own electricity bill. Energy Minister Francis Logan announced yesterday that Synergy would offer "green energy" to householders in $10 blocks. Mr Logan said each block of EasyGreen was the environmental equivalent to leaving a family car in the garage for five months in an average Perth home. "Customers now have the opportunity to spend an extra $10 per bill on green energy, which is equivalent to 227kWh of accredited green power," Mr Logan said. "$20 would allow them to buy a 455kWh block." Outback Energy Supply proprietor Jim Thomson said an additional $10 should be affordable enough for most Goldfields householders to reduce their greenhouse emissions.

He said supporting renewable energy in its current form would lead to more availability in the future. "For the price of a can of Jim Beam and Coke and a beer for your partner you can save the equivalent greenhouse emissions of having your car in a garage for five months," Mr Thomson said. "The more people who take it up, the more the energy that's already being produced is utilised and they will have to build more sources." He also encouraged residents to visit www.greenelectricitywatch.org.au for more ways to reduce greenhouse emissions from their homes.

EasyGreen is sourced mostly from wind energy and available to Kalgoorlie-Boulder residents now.

Climate change is a war that we must fight

Age
Tuesday 23/10/2007 Page: 13

BEFORE casting their votes next month, Australians should reflect long and hard on the real priorities the nation faces. These are not tax cuts, industrial relations, the economy, interest rates or the stockmarket, but the very survival and sustainability of our society and the planet.

With the global population heading from 6.5 billion today towards 9 billion by 2050, we are already exceeding the ability of the planet to absorb the impact of human activity. The immediate sustainability priorities are water, climate change and the peaking of global oil supply. But our leaders, having supposedly crossed the threshold of accepting that sustainability, in particular climate change, is a serious issue, seem to believe it can be solved by minor tweaking of business as usual. That is demonstrably not the case.

In Australia, the drought is worsening, capital city water supplies are deteriorating and the beginning of the bushfire season does not bode well. The latest CSIRO assessment highlights the risk of continuing climatic deterioration. Arctic sea ice is melting more rapidly than even the highest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change forecasts. This has serious implications for the warming of northern waters and global climate in general. Extreme weather events are grooving worldwide, from widespread flooding across Africa, to intense storm activity in the US, Europe, India and China.

The oil price heads north of $US90 per barrel, yet peak oil is barely on the agenda in this country, despite the first, grudging, official admissions, from the International Energy Agency and the US National Petroleum Council, that it may soon become a reality. These trends make it blindingly obvious that we cannot continue conventional economic growth and rampant consumerism without destroying the planet.

The electoral focus has been on the importance of having a government that can manage the economy, but this misses the point. True leaders think in the long term, face up to and honestly articulate the big issues, then actively build a consensus for change, however unpalatable, uncertain and difficult. Management has its place, but the world we are now entering demands leadership of the highest order. There is no evidence that the Government, or the business community (with some notable exceptions), has the slightest idea what this means.

We now face nothing less than a global emergency. We must rapidly reduce carbon emissions and encourage alternative energy sources, far faster than either government or opposition are prepared to acknowledge, and begin preparations for a global oil shortage. This is not an extreme view; the extremists are those in government and business who have been in denial for the past decade, and in the process have frittered away our ability to plan a timely response.

Our Government, and the Bush Administration, have done more to subvert serious action on climate change, and to endanger energy security, than anyone else on the planet. They continually regurgitate the mantra that technology is the answer. It is undoubtedly critical, particularly the renewable energy technologies that have been deliberately suppressed, but technology alone is not enough. There must be a major change in our values.

These challenges are daunting but with sound leadership we can successfully design a sustainable future. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Bali in early December is the crunch point. 'Aspirational goals" must be banished for the fiction they are and serious binding commitments made to tackle climate change. In preparation, an Australian government should take the following immediate steps:
  • Ratify the Kyoto Protocol and propose that the second commitment period be brought forward from 2012 with binding emission reduction targets for all nations. The objective is to limit temperature increase to two degrees, which will require global emissions to fall by at least 60 per cent by 2050.
  • Show international leadership by proposing the adoption of equal per capita carbon allocations globally by a date to be agreed, say 2040. This will provide the circuit-breaker for the developing world to accept binding commitments.
  • Accept that Australian emissions under this scenario must be reduced by 50 per cent by 2025 and 90 per cent by 2050.
  • Accelerate the introduction of a national emissions trading system, incorporating these reductions.
  • Impose a national moratorium on all new coal-fired power stations and new coal export projects until their carbon emissions can be safely sequestered.
  • Set a national mandatory target of 30 per cent electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
  • Implement world's best practice energy efficiency and conservation standards.
  • Develop contingency plans to handle the peaking of global oil supply.
Australians must demand that all political candidates clearly set out their climate change policy. We need to know the detail now, not take it on trust until after the election; we have been let down too badly already and it cannot happen again. In the event that real leadership does not emerge, we must place these issues outside the political sphere, to be handled independently on a quasi-war footing. It is that serious.

Ian Dunlop was formerly an international oil, gas and coal industry executive. He is deputy convener of the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil.

Ultracapacitors improve wind turbine pitch systems

Electronics News
October, 2007 Page: 36

Today's advanced wind turbines are three-bladed, variable speed turbines. The rotor blades are adjusted and controlled via three independent electromechanical propulsion units for the pitch systems. On a pitch-controlled wind turbine the turbine's electronic controller checks the power output of the turbine several times per second. When the power output becomes too high, it sends an order to the pitch mechanism, which immediately turns the rotor blades slightly out of the wind. Conversely, the blades are turned back into the wind whenever the wind drops again. Thus aerodynamic efficiency and reduced loads on the drive train are maintained, providing reduced maintenance and longer turbine life. To enhance the level of safety, newer wind turbine technology uses the wind not only to produce wind energy but also for its own safety.

The converters feature aerodynamic braking by individual pitch control. The rotor attains the full braking effect with a 90ยบ off position of all three blades. Even if a blade pitch unit fails, the other two rotor blades finish off the braking process safely. To enhance the level of safety, each of the autonomous pitch systems is equipped with an emergency power supply to immediately ensure the reliable functioning of the fast blade pitch system if there is a total power failure or for maintenance.

Currently, batteries are the most widely used component for emergency power supply. They are sized to satisfy the peak power demands to adjust the rotor blades, even if those demands occur for only a few seconds. If high power is needed, the deficiencies of battery storage systems are varied and they create many design challenges for pitch system engineers. Batteries have a known low-temperature performance in addition to a very limited lifetime under extreme conditions.

Batteries require repeated replacement throughout the life of the wind energy plant and they are not designed to satisfy the most important requirements of pitch system power source, which is to provide bursts of power in the seconds range for rotor blade adjustments over many hundreds of thousands of cycles.

With no moving parts, ultracapacitors provide a simple, solid-state, highly reliable solution to buffer short-term mismatches between the power available and the power required. When appropriately designed with a systems approach, they offer good performance, wide operating temperature range, long life, flexible management, reduced system size, and are cost effective as well as reliable.

Maxwell Technologies has available the Boostcap ultracapacitors in several sizes, ranging from prismatic 5, 10 and 100 farad cells to cylindrical 2600 farad large cells. To facilitate adoption of ultracapacitors for applications which require integrated modules consisting of multiple ultracapacitor cells, the company provides fully integrated power packs that satisfy the energy storage and power delivery requirements of fast blade pitch systems. Large cell ultracapacitors have been designed into the pitch systems of many wind turbine manufacturers and pitch system designers.

Each autonomous pitch system is equipped with an ultracapacitor emergency power pack to ensure the functioning of the fast blade pitch system with high reliability. The following is a layout example of a pitch system. Pitch systems are in the rotating rotor hub of the wind turbine. The power supply and control signals for the pitch systems are transferred by a slip ring from the non-rotating part of the nacelle. The slip ring is connected to a unit that includes clamps for distributing power and control signals for the three individual blade drive units. Each of them consists of a switched mode power supply, a fieldbus, the motor converter, an emergency system and the ultracapacitor bank. When the power supply is switched on, the ultracapacitor module is charged to its nominal voltage. Typical charging time is about a minute.

The capacitor module has a high enough energy content to run the system for more than 30s with nominal power. The ultracapacitor module is directly connected to the DC link of the motor converter. The converter then drives a three-phase, four-pole asynchronous motor, mounted directly to the gearbox of the blade drive. The motor is designed to give maximum torque at very low rpm. Each blade has sensors that control the blade position.

Manufacturers continue to reach for the stars as installations grow ever larger. Megawatt class turbines dominate much of the actual world market, pushing the average installed capacity per turbine above the 1 MW mark. Several wind energy plant manufacturers are developing multi-megawatt turbines, as the offshore market may demand such installations. The largest turbines can produce power up to 5 MW with rotor diameters of up to 110m.

To ensure the functioning of the fast blade pitch system even for such large installations, bigger emergency power packs have to be integrated. The company's integrated packs assembled with large ultracapacitors are suitable for these megawatt class turbines. To obtain the standard nominal voltage of 300 DC used for such wind turbines, four 75 V sub-modules are connected in series.

Due to their high reliability, efficiency, and operating lifetime, ultracapacitors are especially suitable for offshore and remote wind energy applications. Ultracapacitors are fundamentally viewed as maintenance-free devices that do not require costly test runs and expensive management systems versus batteries, which require ongoing evaluation of their state of health and state of charge.

Reliable and maintenance-free operation is a 'must' for offshore applications because the power plants are several kilometres away from the coast. In winter or during stormy weather conditions, the inspection cycles can even extend to several months. Currently, there are more than 60,000 wind turbines operating worldwide, which represent 32 GW of installed capacity. Of these, offshore installations account for 3% of the world market.

It is expected that soon, offshore wind energy generation will account for 14% of the world's new wind capacity. Though the wind energy contributes less than 0.5% of the total world electricity supply today, it is estimated, that by 2012, wind's growing contribution will reach 2%. Therefore, another 145 GW of new capacity is expected to be installed. The implication of these estimates is that a staggering number of new turbines will be added to networks by then, representing a high potential for advanced three-bladed variable speed turbines that feature aerodynamic braking by individual pitch control. Without question these 'future' turbines require ultracapacitors as they provide a simple, solid-state, cost-effective, long-life solution that ensures the functioning of the fast blade pitch system with the highest reliability.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Tasmanian skills taken to the world

Sunday Tasmanian
Sunday 21/10/2007 Page: 69

IN late 2006 Height Safety Management (HSM) became the preferred training provider for international offshore drilling giant Transocean Limited. This Tasmanian business now operates full time in the Asia Pacific region as well as South Africa. They service the needs of clients' height safety requirements as well as confined space operation, vertical rescue, breathing apparatus, rigging, dogging, scaffolding, crane operation, elevated work platform and forklift truck training. They also train Transocean's trainers to enable the constant upgrading of skills while at sea.

To enable the most efficient training is provided, HSM has implemented web-based height safety training modules to cover theory and refresher training market. "This allows our clients to self pace and train singularly or in small groups that would normally be cost ineffective." said Tasmanian manager Dean Wapsas. "With offices in all states. the ACT and Singapore and Johannesburg, HSM are taking Tasmanian skills to the world." HSM provides training for wind farm builder Vestas and the Australian Antarctic Division, Integral Energy, Pitt and Sherry and hundreds more.

Windflow Technology on rapid growth path

Earthmover and Civil Contractor
October, 2007 Page: 6

New Zealand based Windflow Technology's turbine production is forecast to quadruple over the next five years once orders for its Windflow 500 are confirmed. This anticipated growth led the company to move its head office in late September into larger premises in Christchurch that combine office and factory space. "This marks a turning point in the company's history as we make a successful transition from a small start-up company to a dynamic manufacturing business with excellent prospects," said CEO/director Geoff Henderson.

Existing sales of the successful Windflow 500 turbine will increase revenue for Windflow Technology by over $20m over the next year with a forecast of an additional $40m in revenue contingent on expected orders from the Te Rare Hau joint venture. The new premises will enable the Windflow 500 nacelle assembly line and engineering and management team offices to be housed under one roof.

Windflow Technology employs 24 permanent staff and intends to increase staff numbers to up to 40 to meet the growth plan. Around 30 people are employed at companies contracted by Windflow Technology for the manufacture of component parts for the Windflow 500. The company's expansion is in contrast to the proposed closure of Vestas wind turbine component plant at Portland, Victoria, later in the year.

A renewed belief in a green economy

Age
Saturday 20/10/2007 Page: 2

DAVID Shapero remembers a time in the 1990s when businesses that focused on sustainable environmental practices were viewed as the "poor cousins" of the investment world. "It was always seen that those investments would suffer on account of having an eye on sustainability," says Mr Shapero, who was a financial adviser at the time.

"So they were always seen as the poor cousins, they were always seen as boutique. Now it seems to be quite clear that in fact it's the opposite way. Now it seems that any company that doesn't take into account their greenhouse footprint is actually going to be worse off than a company that does." It is that shift in attitudes that convinced Mr Shapero to make the leap into the renewable energy industry himself with the establishment of his company Future Energy Limited in 2003.

Future Energy develops and manages renewable energy projects, with a focus on those that are community-owned and instigated. A long-standing concern about the effects of climate change led Mr Shapero to consider how he could get involved in an industry that would contribute towards environmental sustainability.

"I'm from probably the first generation that really got taught about the environment at school," he says. "It was around the time of the oil shock, and when the oil shock came all of a sudden different energy sources were looked at closely and that was a really big leap in Australia for solar power." In Future Energy, Mr Shapero says he has found a way to combine the legacy of that education with his financial knowhow and his passion for community involvement.

Mr Shapero spends a lot of his time exploring options for the development of renewable energy projects with individuals and communities in many parts of the state. In his travels, Mr Shapero says he has encountered an overwhelming enthusiasm for community-driven renewable energy, a significant contrast to the negative reactions some Victorian wind farm projects have received in the past. That enthusiasm has culminated in Future Energy's first community project, which is set to be built just outside of Daylesford in central Victoria.

The Hepburn Renewable Energy Project has recently been granted planning approval by VCAT, and Mr Shapero is preparing to begin raising capital. The Hepburn project has also been a source of reassurance that people would embrace these kinds of projects in their local areas, Mr Shapero says. While the recent progress of the Hepburn project, as well as a handful of other projects that are in their early stages, have given Mr Shapero cause to feel confident about his business, he remembers a time not so long ago when the future did not look so bright.

In 2005, the Federal Government refused to raise Australia's Mandatory Renewable Energy Target from it's current 2 per cent, destroying many businesses' faith in Australia's until then burgeoning renewable energy industry. That was a really difficult time," he says.

Mr Shapero says the Victorian Government's policies on renewables, coupled with his own determination to make his business work, saw him through. But, he says the Federal Government's reluctance to tackle climate change with policies on renewable energy amounts to a huge missed opportunity for the Australian economy. "It seems to me that in business, whether it be small or large business, and in government, that if something's inevitable then the best strategic position you can take is to get on and organise yourself," he says.

"Unfortunately the Government just hasn't and has let it fall behind and at the same time let some fantastic opportunities, particularly in the solar industry, pass us by." However, he is optimistic that the next few years will bring significant developments as the Federal Government, whether it be the Coalition or Labor, introduces policies to deal with climate change.

"I think basically it will be a feeling of 'at last'," he says. 'And what we've got to do is to make sure we're as well positioned as we can be to take advantage of those changes and to be one active player in a growing market."

Wind farm to be sold

Port Lincoln Times
Thursday 18/10/2007 Page: 5

THE Mount Millar Wind Farm between Cleve and Cowell will be sold by the Queensland Government. The farm, operated by the government's Tarong Energy, is being sold by the Treasury department. A spokesperson for Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser said the government hoped to have bids finalised by the end of the year. "There's a short list of companies that have put in bids, that are now assessed to what are called binding bids," the spokesperson said. The spokesperson disclosed no detail of reasons for the sale.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Wave energy firm eyes Portland

Portland Observer
Wednesday 17/10/2007 Page: 1

CLEAN energy technology company Carnegie Corporation has its sights set on Portland as a potential site for a $500 million wave energy generation and desalination plant. The company is the third to have plans for proposed wave energy developments in the ocean off Portland, with Oceanlinx and Ocean Power Technologies also having active proposals in the area.

Carnegie is also investigating multiple sites in Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales for the plant. It is expected to make a decision on where to locate a demonstration plant later this year. The company is hoping to produce up to 50 megawatts of power and 50 gigalitres of fresh water a year with its CETO (Cylindrical Energy Transfer Oscillating) units.

The CETO units would act as a pump with submerged buoys harnessing ocean energy to drive the units which pump seawater at high pressures onshore to create base load electricity. "At the same time, the seawater can also be desalinated via reverse-osmosis to create zero-emission freshwater," the company said. An estimated 300 CETO units would occupy two hectares of seafloor to produce the power and water.

Glenelg Shire mayor Gilbert Wilson welcomed Carnegie's actions. "Wave energy is taking off as Portland starts to establish its credentials as the nation's renewable energy hub," he said. "I am sure any freshwater produced would be welcome, particularly in the hinterland." Meanwhile, blade manufacturing company Vestas is expected to be asked to "please explain" after revelations it plans to open a manufacturing facility at Colarado, USA, to produce 40 metre blades.

Vestas will close its blade factory in Portland on December 19, putting 130 workers on the unemployment scrapheap in the process. However, one of the reasons given for the Vestas closure in Portland was that the wind energy market had moved on since the company established in Portland and there was no longer any demand for the A40 blades. Vestas Wind Systems group communications vice-president Peter Wenzel Kruse confirmed late last week the Colarado blades would be the same as those produced in Portland. The facility at Colarado is expected to employ about 600 people.

The Member for South West Coast Denis Napthine said Vestas owed it to the Portland community to provide some answers. Dr Napthine also said the State Government had to come clean on what type of deal it did with Vestas to bring the company to Portland. It is expected a second meeting between Vestas management, Dr Napthine and the Member for Wannon David Hawker will be held in the near future.

State Industry Minister Theo Theophanous said the Victorian Government had done everything in its power to support the Vestas operation in Portland and was a strong supporter of the renewable energy industry more broadly. "This is a clear demonstration of what can happen when industry is provided with no certainty from a Federal level - companies such as this can be enticed to explore overseas markets," he said.

State award plaque comes home to Toora

Mirror
Wednesday 17/10/2007 Page: 19

NOW that they are back from the 2007 Keep Australia Beautiful Awards State ceremony held at Benalla over the first weekend in October, Toora Progress Association representatives Kathy Whelan and Peter Lee are excited about the ideas they have learned and people they have connected with. As reported on page seven in last week's edition of The Mirror, Toora won the State level award for the Community Government Partnership category against the other regional category winners Lorne, Ballarat, Dartmoor, Dimboola and Horsham, Koondrook, Seymour and Beechworth. Kathy and Peter formally accepted the award from Don Johns OAM of Horsham.

The award is a tastefully engraved plaque that Kathy anticipates will be displayed progressively at a number of locations around the town so that as many people as possible can see it.

Considering the extensive assistance given to Toora by Councillor Heather Bligh and South Gippsland Shire generally in helping the residents to grow $65,000 seed funding received from Stanwell Corporation for the chosen hall, pool, nursing home and skate park projects, Kathy reckoned, "it is virtually an award for Council too." The ceremony weekend was designed to make the participants feel special, with Kathy describing the event as well organised and somewhat like the Oscars, even down to the little envelopes being opened for announcing the category winners.

"When Toora was named as the Community Government Partnerships winner, we were knocked over in shock, and Peter had tears in his eyes", Kathy recounted. She believes that the success Toora experienced through the projects has given the town confidence to go for more grants in future. The weekend also featured inspirational speakers and workshops about special projects for so-called disenchanted youth, the importance of symbolism and responsibility to community, which have sparked Peter and Kathy with new ideas for Toora.

As a result, they hope to organise some visitors and speakers for Toora through the contacts they have made and are wondering about the relevance of a "stationeers" movement for further projects at the former Toora Railway Station. As Kathy said, "love them or loathe them, the wind turbines at Toora [owned by Stanwell Corporation] have provided some incredible benefits for the local community."

More wind power In the breeze

Warrnambool Standard
Friday 19/10/2007 Page: 3

ONE hundred more wind turbines are proposed for farmland within south-west Victoria by a company which has revealed its plans for two sites near Mortlake. The wind industry has targeted Moyne Shire with numerous projects in recent years. The rural council is already collecting more than $1 million in rates from the companies running 20 turbines at Yambuk and 14 turbines in Codrington. However, that is only the tip of the iceberg with eight projects either approved, awaiting development or in the early stages of planning. While it is unlikely all the projects will go ahead, if they do the shire could be known as a green energy hub and home to 479 turbines.

Acciona Energy's managing director Brett Thomas said the company's latest $300 million project was to install about 50 wind turbines on each site near Mortlake. Turbines will be located five kilometres south of the town near the Mortlake-Terang Road and the other site is 9.5km east of Mortlake along the Hamilton Highway towards Darlington. The wind farm would produce enough green electricity to power about 86,000 homes and prevent around 390,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

The company has spent 14 months collecting wind data about the sites and is conducting an environmental study. A spokeswoman for the company said the project was in the early planning and community consultation stages. She said turbine layouts of the farms were still to be decided. The single submission for both sites is expected to be submitted to Planning Minister Justin Madden by the end of the year. Moyne Shire acting chief executive Greg Anders said the shire would consult the community and make a submission to the minister.