The Cape Bridgewater wind farm is the second stage of Pacific Hydro’s four-stage Portland Wind Energy Project in southwest Victoria. Completed in 2008, the 58MW Cape Bridgewater wind farm comprises 29 wind generators producing enough energy to meet the annual needs of 35,000 households, with an average electricity generation of 200GWh per year.
Operations at Cape Bridgewater abate an estimated 195,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year. During construction, the wind farm provided a significant boost to the local economy by creating many direct and indirect jobs for local contractors and also several permanent jobs once operations began. Millions have been spent generating new investment in the local economy.
Re-vegetation programs around the wind farm site are helping to promote native flora with over 74,500m2 of land already direct seeded with pasture grasses and 3,000m2 with native grasses which in turn is helping to protect local biodiversity while improving the habitat for native fauna. Pacific Hydro’s Sustainable Communities fund is providing support for local organisations working to make a positive difference in the community for the life of the project.
Cape Nelson South
The Cape Nelson South Wind Farm is the penultimate stage of Pacific Hydro’s four-stage Portland Wind Energy Project in southwest Victoria. Completed in 2009, the wind farm is capable of supplying supply 44MW of clean electricity to the national grid – the equivalent to supplying the annual electricity needs of 22,000 Victorian homes.
Operations at Cape Nelson South abate around 140,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Local contractors from the Portland region were employed for the project’s construction. Over 300 people across 50 different work categories including civil and electrical contractors, transport services, crane drivers, welders and metal fixers were employed for 12 months of construction.
In addition to creating substantial job opportunities during construction, Pacific Hydro is working with local environmental organisations to ensure revegetation programs support native wildlife and efforts to protect local species. The Cape Nelson area is home to Coastal Mallee Scrub, vegetation found nowhere else on earth. These multi-stemmed eucalypts reach up to heights of 4m, beneath which the understorey flora is strongly influenced by the saline and alkaline conditions found on Cape Nelson. Planning for the wind farm focused on preserving and protecting this important environmental asset.