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New alignment now open – Grasmere wind farm

The Grasmere wind farm – part of the expansion of the Albany wind farm – is now operational.

Approximately 3km of Track immediately to the west of Hidden Valley Camp Site has recently been constructed due to the expansion of Verve Energy’s Grasmere Wind Farm. Walkers are asked to bear in mind that it whilst the new section of Track is open, there still remains work to be done and walkers should take care.

Hidden Valley Camp Site remains in use. However, two of the operational turbines are in very close proximity and walkers may experience some noise.

The six-turbine Grasmere wind farm has been installed at the western end of the highly successful Albany wind farm. Though they have different names, the wind farms will merge.

The new wind turbines are of a similar size to those installed at the Albany Wind Farm but at 2.3MW, each will generate 30% more power.

Extensive consultation has taken place between Verve Energy, DEC and the Foundation to assess the impact of the extension on walkers and to devise a solution to minimise the visual and auditory effects. As a result, Hidden Valley campsite will be relocated further west to take it right out of the wind farm. Additionally, a new campsite will be built between the wind farm and Albany in the Tonndirrup National Park. This will result in three shorter days of approximately 13km each out of Albany, as opposed to the existing 19.5km to Hidden Valley and 17km to Torbay campsite. This is an excellent outcome for walkers.

The 14MW Grasmere Wind Farm will produce around 44GWh of electricity each year and, together with Albany Wind Farm, will meet 80% of Albany’s electricity needs with clean, inexhaustible renewable energy.

Grasmere will reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions by 43,500 tonnes per year from electricity production, equivalent to taking 10,000 cars off the road.

The new turbines have been placed on the coast using the same pattern and spacing as the existing wind farm and will be built to the same high environmental and social standards. The new wind farm will need a new underground power line connection for the entire 14km back to the Albany sub-station, so no overhead wires will be required.

The blades on the wind turbines are 35m long.