GREEN DEALS: Wind on parade

The Musselroe wind farm nears completion, while Goldwind starts on its largest wind farm outside China. Elsewhere, Carnegie Wave welcomes Mike Fitzpatrick to its board and Toyota brings hybrid engine production to Australia.

Hydro Tasmania, Vestas

The Musselroe wind farm will see its first turbines turning next month, according to The Mercury, with the project two-thirds of the way through construction.

Turning heads yesterday however, was the ‘Blade Parade’, with developer Hydro Tasmania and wind turbine maker Vestas organising the delivery of one blade to the site during daylight hours (see: below). The turbines are usually transported to the site in the dead of night to create as little traffic disturbance as possible but a special event saw the public invited to see the turbines up close – and as shown below, they certainly catch the eye.

The 56-turbine, 168 MW wind farm is likely to be fully commissioned in the middle of 2013.


Source: Hydro Tasmania

Goldwind

Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co has begun construction on the Gullen Range wind farm in New South Wales, its biggest wind development outside China.

The 165.5 MW, 73-turbine project is in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales and is likely to take a little over a year to complete.

“Most of the wind farm construction activities will be completed by the end of 2013 with the connection due to be completed in December 2013,” John Titchen, Managing Director of Goldwind Australia, said.

Toyota

Australia's first petrol-electric hybrid engine plant was opened in Melbourne yesterday by Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The Toyota plant will produce 108,000 four-cylinder engines a year for both Camry and Camry hybrid sedans built in Australia.

Finally seeing some developments in the local car industry toward cleaner alternatives is welcome news, but the event was somewhat marred by quotes from high profile politicians.

The first, from Gillard: “(It’s) a red collar day for blue collar workers.”

The second, from Victorian premier Ted Baillieu, who was asked to sum up the opening: “Oh, what a feeling,” he said.

Carnegie Wave Energy

ASX-listed Carnegie Wave Energy has raised $5.8 million of private and public funding to put toward its Perth Wave Energy Project, but the bigger news comes in an addition to its board.

First things first, and Carnegie has secured a redistribution of  Low Emissions Energy Development grant funding from the WA government, which results in an increase of $2.26 million in total state and federal government grant funding to a total of $17.7 million. The company’s coffers further swelled thanks to $3.525 million of private capital from “institutional and sophisticated investors.” I’ve always loved the term ‘sophisticated investors’, it almost makes you want to meet them.

That aside, the private raising did lead to an interesting player being added to the board of the company, namely AFL chair Mike Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick is the founder of 88 Green Ventures, which through the raising lifting its stake from 6.1 per cent to 9.7 per cent and won a seat on the board as a result.

Fitzpatrick, who was the founder of Hastings Funds Management and currently serves on the board of Rio Tinto, will join as a non-executive director.

The Perth project is on track for completion of detailed design and securing of environmental and government approvals by the end of this year, with first power likely to be delivered in 2013.

Petratherm

Petratherm, which is now looking to diversify beyond geothermal, has seen its shares hit a record low of 2 cents. It is another sign of the struggles confronting Australia’s geothermal players, where results haven’t matched lofty expectations of just a few years ago. In 2007, at the height of the geothermal buzz, it hit a high above $1.50, but with little to show for their work since then, investors have shied away.

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