Milestone for wind farms

Anniversary: The Esperance wind farms are celebrating a milestone.
Anniversary: The Esperance wind farms are celebrating a milestone.

ESPERANCE wind farms have reached an important milestone in their existence.

It has been 10 years since the Nine Mile Beach wind farm was commissioned and 20 years since the Ten Mile Lagoon wind farm was commissioned.

A Verve Energy spokesperson said the cost to build the Nine Mile Beach Wind Farm was $10.2 million in 2003.

This cost was supported by a $5m grant from the federal government.

The Ten Mile Lagoon wind farm cost $5.8m to build in 1993.

A Verve Energy spokesperson said that wind farms have a nominal design life of 20 years.

The Ten Mile Lagoon wind farm turbines are 20 years old but a recent Verve Energy study found they are still in good condition and will continue operating for another three to five years.

A Verve Energy spokesperson said wind farms are an attractive option in locations that have an excellent wind resource, such as Esperance.

There were nine wind turbines at Ten Mile Lagoon, before Nine Mile Beach Wind Farm was installed, and there are currently 15 wind turbines along that stretch of coast.

It costs Verve Energy approximately $200,000 per annum to maintain and operate the two wind farm sites.

A Verve Energy spokesperson said wind farms in towns such as Esperance create jobs during the construction and operational phase, bring money into the community through services on the wind farms and can enhance local tourism.

Power in Esperance is primarily supplied by a gas powered power station located in town.

The Nine Mile Beach and Ten Mile Lagoon wind farms offset energy that would be generated by this power station and have enabled Esperance to become self-sufficient in energy generation.