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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

16 January 2003

$1 Million in Federal Funding Powers Rottnest Island with New Wind Turbine

The Federal Government will spend up to $1 million towards the construction of the new $2 million Rottnest Island Wind Project, which will reduce annual fuel consumption by more than 400,000 litres and deliver greenhouse gas savings of nearly 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, acting Minister for Environment and Heritage Robert Hill said today.

The funding - provided from the Renewable Remote Power Generation Program (RRPGP) - will go towards 50% of the initial capital cost of the 600 kW wind turbine project. The Rottnest Island Authority will meet the balance of the cost.

"The new 600 kW wind turbine will not only reduce the reliance of Rottnest Island on diesel for its power generation, but will also reduce reliance on limited rain and groundwater sources by helping power the island's reverse osmosis desalination plant. It also reduces the need to transport and deliver diesel from the mainland to this pristine environment," Senator Hill said.

Senator Hill said the Rottnest Island Wind Project is the second major project approved by the West Australian division of the Renewable Remote Power Generation Program. The other major project is the Esperance Wind Farm of which the Federal Government approved $5.32 million towards its construction cost late last year.

The Rottnest Island Authority will call for supply and installation tenders for the wind turbine shortly and plans to have the development commissioned later this year.

"The Australian Greenhouse Office estimates that over 700 million litres of diesel is consumed each year to generate electricity in Australia's remote areas," Senator Hill said.

"The aim of the RRPGP is to displace the use of diesel fuel for electricity purposes by encouraging those reliant on diesel generation to adopt renewable generation technologies in remote locations with no access to the main electricity grid. This is exactly what the Rottnest Island wind turbine project will achieve."

To date, the Commonwealth has approved over $112 million for renewable power generation in remote Australia. This includes $27.8 million for two major projects and two sub-programs in Western Australia.

"The Howard Government is committed to meeting the energy needs of remote communities and developing a significant renewable energy industry. It is also committed to working to meet Australia's Kyoto target. Projects such as this deliver on these objectives," Senator Hill said.

Media Contact
Catherine Job 0408 648 400

Commonwealth of Australia