Challicum Hills Wind Farm records near record generation

ARARAT - If you think it's been windy recently you'd be right.

According to data from Pacific Hydro's Challicum Hills wind farm, which has been operating since 2003, August was its second highest month of generation on record.

"While it is usually windy at the beginning of spring, this year, strong consistent winds have pushed generation at Challicum Hills Wind Farm to almost record levels," Pacific Hydro's general manager for Australia, Lane Crockett, said.

Expected monthly generation produces enough energy for around 26,000 homes but in August, Challicum Hills wind farm generated enough energy to power 37,808 homes - three times more power than the residential needs of Horsham, Stawell, Ararat and Beaufort combined.

"We're really pleased to see the project doing so well and contributing to increased clean energy output in the state," Mr Crockett said.

"The project is helping to reduce pollution from coal fired energy generation which is good for the environment and our health."

Over the border in South Australia, where around 25 per cent wind energy has been installed, near record generation in August saw up to 65 per cent of their power coming from the wind. The increase in wind energy in the state has not only reduced emissions significantly; it has enabled two coal fired power stations to be turned off.

"South Australia is proof that it is possible to integrate significant amounts of wind energy into the grid," Mr Crockett said.

"While wind energy in Victoria is small in comparison at around four per cent of our energy capacity, once our wind energy gets up to around 10 per cent we could begin to see coal fired generation begin to get turned off as well."

Pacific Hydro operates five wind farms in Victoria and has plans to build three more in the coming years.

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