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Spain's Union Fenosa To Build Australian Wind Farms

Date: 03-Dec-08
Country: AUSTRALIA

SYDNEY - Spainish power firm Union Fenosa will invest A$1.9 billion ($1.2 billion) in constructing seven wind farms in Australia, doubling Australia's wind generation capacity when completed in 2013.

"These facilities will make a significant contribution to the government's renewable energy target that commits to at least 20 percent of Australia's electricity supply being generated from renewable sources by 2020," Australian Trade Minister Simon Crean said in a statement received on Tuesday.

Being an island continent Australia has some of the world's most reliable winds, but its wind-generated power industry is still in its infancy. Australia has 42 wind farms generating only 0.5 percent of the nation's electricity.

Phase one of the Union Fenosa project, due for completion in 2010, will see wind farms built at Hawkesdale and Ryan Corner in Victoria state and Crookwell in New South Wales (NSW) state.

Phase two will see wind farms at Tarrone, Berrybank and Darlington in Victoria state and Paling Yards in NSW and will be completed by in 2013.

When completed the seven wind farms will add an additional 850 megawatts (MW) in capacity to Australia's existing wind generation capacity of 824 MW, said Crean.

"The government is committed to ensuring that we have the ...policy settings to confront the challenges of climate change, as well as the expertise and infrastructure necessary to take advantage of the economic opportunities that arise from expanding global demand for this type of energy solution," he said.

(Reporting by Michael Perry; Editing by James Thornhill)

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