Kiata Wind Farm starts generating electricity | Video

THE Kiata Wind Farm is connected to the grid and generating electricity.

The nine-turbine farm – which will power the equivalent of 20,000 homes – was connected to the electricity network last week.

Canberra-based windfarm operator Windlab Limited has managed the project, with construction starting in late March.

The $75-million project created about 100 jobs during the construction phase.

Windlab chief executive Roger Price said the wind farm was now in the commissioning phase.

“The farm is producing electricity and putting that into the transition network,” he said.

“There's about four weeks of endurance testing that will happen before the farm goes into full operational mode.

“There will be people on site through to early or mid-December before the farm becomes fully operational.

“The project has gone very much to plan – it is on time and on budget.

“It’s a very exciting time and we look forward to having an official opening soon.”

The Kiata turbines are the largest operating turbines in Australia.

Turbine tower manufacturing started at Keppel Prince Engineering in Portland in April, before the first turbine blades started to arrive on site and foundations for the towers were built in July.

The first tower section was installed in August, and a week later one turbine was complete. Windlab estimates the farm will deliver $12 million in direct spending into the economy during its 25-year operational life.

Hindmarsh Shire mayor Ron Ismay said it was fantastic to see the project finished.

He said the municipality had the potential for more environmental developments that would benefit the area  economically.

Cr Ismay – who became mayor at a statutory meeting last week – said he was looking at LED lighting for the shire.

“I've got an electrician who is trying to get some quotes together for municipal buildings in Rainbow,” he said.

“I'd like to see the whole shire going to a scheme where we change all the fluorescent lights to LED lights, because there's huge cost savings with running them.