Project manager Sinclair Knight Merz has successfully brought on line New South Wales’ first privately funded wind farm, the $2.4 million Hampton Wind Park near Lithgow, in the central western region of the state.

Sinclair Knight Merz provided project management and engineering services for the design, development and construction of the wind park, which consists of two 660 kW Vestas V-47 wind turbines, each 74 m in total height, and with 47 m diameter rotors.

The project was carried out for leading venture capital firm, CVC-Reef and the site’s owners. It is a pilot project and will generate around 1.32 MWe, estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3000 tonnes each year.

All of the renewable electricity generated will be purchased by Integral Energy, and supplied into the local 11 kV rural network. Sinclair Knight Merz handled the entire project, including, in addition to design, build and commissioning, the investigation of future study options, and preparation of application documents for Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO) Renewable Energy Industry Development funding.

Meanwhile the Australian and US governments have agreed a Climate action Partnership, involving energy agencies of both countries, to focus on practical approaches towards dealing with climate change.

•Spanish companies Gamesa and Union Fernosa have joined forces with Australian company TME in a $400 m project to study wind power generation projects involving the creation of 14 windfarms with a capacity of 450 MWe. Realisation of the plan would be a good start in fulfilling the government’s ambition to go from the present 72 MW of renewables to 9500 MW by 2010.