Roaring 40s, Tasmania – Woolnorth and Studland Bay wind farms

Roaring 40s wind farm at Woolnorth in the north-west of Tasmania produces enough electricity to power 68,000 homes.

There are 37 ninety-nine metre tall turbines at Bluff Point, near marrawah, capable of producing 65 megawatts of power. An additional 25 turbines came in to operation at Studland Bay early in 2007. These are larger turbines and they generate an extra 75 megawatts of electricity.

The north-west of Tasmania is an ideal location for wind farm operation because of the steady and consistent winds.

“There is overwhelming evidence that climate change is real,” says Mark Kelleher, chief executive of Roaring 40s. “Wind-power is going to be a major source of the world’s energy. It is necessary to reduce the amount of fossil fuel being used.”

“Wind is currently the best large-scale application in the world and it has grown worldwide at 28% a year for the past five years,” he said.

musselroe bay wind farm project

Wind power is expensive. Wind power costs about $70 per megawatt hour to produce, compared with $35 per megawatt hour for a coal-fired plant and $40 per megawatt hour for a gas-fired plant.

A Mandatory Renewable Energy Targets (MRET) scheme was in operation in Australia, but was shelved by the federal government in 2006. Studies had been done with a view to building a $230 million wind farm at Musselroe Bay in the north-east of Tasmania. It could only be justified financially under a MRET scheme and the project has been on ice.

However, according to Mark Kelleher, the Australian federal government has started to show concern over global warming caused by carbon emissions. Renewable energy is bound to become more and more valued, he said.

Moves by the Victorian and New South Wales governments to introduce their own MRET schemes could see a revival of the Musselroe Bay wind farm.

Woolnorth Wind Farm
Wind power is an important part of the energy infrastructure in Tasmania.
Turbines at Woolnorth Wind Farm.
© Roaring 40s

Wind-power world-wide

In 2006, wind power installations around the world generated 60,000 megawatts of power – equal to one and a half times Australia’s total electricity consumption.