If you look along the coast from the city centre you will spy the twelve enormous white turbines. They are positioned about 80m above the Southern Ocean ready to catch the winds coming in from any direction . The turbines have a 65m tower and three 35m long blades and are the largest installed in the southern hemisphere. They operate automatically with the blades adjusting to the wind speeds. The maximum speed the blades can spin is 22RPM (which is one revolution every 3 secs).
Brief History of the Albany Wind Farm
The wind farm was officially opened in October 2001 and produces on average 77,000,000 units of electricity a year. Albany relies both on the wind farm and Verve Energy’s large coal and gas fired power stations to keep the lights on.
If you are wondering of the benefits, the wind farm reduces greenhouse gas emissions by about 77,000 tonnes per year.
You can drive or cycle up and view the wind farm whenever you like as they are open to the public everyday. There are paths, boardwalks and artwork to keep everyone amused.
When you stand under one of these giant turbines you can really appreciate their power. You can also understand why they are 12kms from the city, they are quite noisy!
The turbines have been built to withstand extreme winds and have special lightning protection.