Esperance Wind Farms
The History of the Salmon Beach Wind Farm
In 1978, research was done on wind as a renewable energy source in Western Australia.
In 1987, these studies instigated the construction of Australia’s FIRST EVER wind farm located on Western Australia’s south coast at Salmon Beach, Esperance.
The wind farm was comprised of six 60 kilowatt Australian-made turbines. Given that the Salmon Beach Wind Farm was such a success, Western Power made a decision in 1993 to build a larger wind farm 13kms further west at Ten Mile Lagoon.
The Salmon Beach Wind Farm was decommissioned mid year 2002 as a result of urban encroachment and the age of the turbines. Western Power donated two of the six turbines to the Esperance Community, one was left in its original place overlooking Salmon Beach and the second has been put on display at the Esperance Museum.
About The Ten Mile Lagoon Wind Farm
The Ten Mile Lagoon Wind Farm ideally placed on a ridge 16km West of Esperance, takes full advantage of the prevailing winds. Established in 1993, this wind farm has nine 225kilowatt turbines and a maximum capacity of 2025 Kilowatts. Each turbine has a maximum generating capacity of two megawatts, which is enough power for more than twenty thousand 100watt light globes. The Ten Mile Lagoon Wind Farm has contributed immensely to a much cleaner environment since the beginning of its operation in 1993. It has:
*Saved approximately seven million litres of diesel; and *Prevented over 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere.
About The New Nine Mile Beach Wind Farm
The Nine Mile Beach Wind Farm, built in replacement of the Salmon Beach Wind Farm in 2003, has six 600kilowatt turbines that are capable of generating a total of 3.6 megawatts. They each sit on towers between 47 and 65 metres tall and each turbine has three 22 metre long blades.
How the Esperance Wind Farms Work
The Ten Mile Lagoon and Nine Mile Beach Wind Farms supplement the local power station, reducing the amount of electricity generated by diesel power, therefore decreasing fuel costs and diesel atmospheric emissions. Each turbine has three blades, which turn at two speeds, depending on the wind strength.
The Esperance diesel power station receives the electricity through a 33 Kilovolt power line. There is a radio link between the power station and the wind farm, which informs the operators about the wind conditions present at the wind farms. This allows the operators to control each turbine independently, stopping and starting the turbine as required.
As the winds in Esperance can vary a lot throughout the day, the wind farms’ output increases and decreases with the wind. As a result, the power station varies its electricity output in correspondence with this allowing the wind farm to meet the electricity needs of Esperance. Computer systems have been put in place to ensure that the wind farms input never exceeds 40% of the town’s electricity needs at any one given time. This is in case the wind suddenly strengthens or diminishes.
Esperance Wind Farms and the Environment
Western Power, the State Department of Conservation and Land Management and the Department of Environmental Protection put in a significant amount of effort to make certain the wind farms would blend in with the environment, placing the turbines and transmission lines with minimal visual and environmental impact on the environment.
Together the Ten Mile Lagoon and Nine Mile Beach Wind Farms contribute up to 22% of the Esperance district’s electricity and will save 9,500 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year.