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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

30 October 2006

Coral bay gains a renewable energy future

Coral Bay's energy future will be transformed with the addition of three new 275 kilowatt wind turbines in an innovative wind/diesel project.

Announcing Australian Government funding of $2.76 million dollars, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell said the project was a leading example in introducing wind energy into an existing diesel system.

“Coral Bay is remote enough to be off the main electricity grid, but not so remote that it doesn't attract large numbers of tourists. With its electricity supply dependent on diesel, and tourism numbers expanding, the town was looking for alternative energy sources to boost electricity supplies,” Senator Campbell said.

“The three new wind turbines will be cyclone protected and the electricity they produce will be linked to the diesel generation system by a computerised system that will smooth out the variable energy flows caused by changing wind speeds.

“Together with improvements to five “low load” diesel generators, Coral Bay will have the best of both diesel and wind generation technologies.”

The new wind turbines are expected to provide about 40 per cent of the town's annual electricity supply, reducing diesel consumption by around 440,000 litres each year and resulting in savings of more than 1160 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually.

“The Coral Bay project brings the number of large scale Australian Government funded wind/diesel systems in Western Australia to five – the others are located at Denham, Hopetoun, Bremer Bay and Rottnest Island,” Senator Campbell said.

“These projects have many benefits, not only for the community with improved power supplies and improved air quality, but also for Australia's action in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The $205 million Renewable Remote Power Generation Programme provides funding to install renewable power generation and associated enabling equipment in remote locations where it displaces the use of fossil fuel.

For more information:

Media contact:
Rob Broadfield 02 6277 7640 or 0409 493 902

Commonwealth of Australia