Grid-connected, distributed generation, renewable – New South Wales, Australia

The site
Hampton Wind Park is the fi rst wind energy development in Australia to be initiated, developed and operated privately by a landholder. Founding Hickory Hill Wind Energy after a career operating coal-fi red power generation, Hugh Litchfi eld originally identified the site on his family’s farm, initiated the project and conducted wind monitoring for over 18 months, helped by sharing costs of the resource assessment with Integral Energy.
Hampton Park is at Hickory Hill just off the Jenolan Caves road near Hampton, which is atop the Great Dividing Range about 115 km west of Sydney.

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How the farm operates
Hampton Wind Park has a capacity of 1.32 MW. The wind park consists of two wind turbines each with a maximum capacity of 660 kW. Each wind turbine stands 50 m high and the rotors have a diameter of 47 m. Each rotor consists of three blades and rotates at 28.4 revolutions per minute. The rotors do not turn in very low winds. They start turning when the wind sustains 4 metres per second (14 km/h) and reach nominal generation at
13-16 m/s (46-58 km/h). They stop turning at over 25 m/s (90 km/h) to avoid damage.

Electricity transmission
The turbines are connected directly to the Integral Energy rural 11 kV radial network.
They will improve the quality of supply to other power users in the local region. Integral Energy has agreed to purchase all the power produced at the site and it will be available to its customers through its Green Power program.

Financing and commercial details
Wind Corporation Australia, the NSW Sustainable Energy Development Authority, Integral Energy and Hickory Hill Wind Energy, the landowner’s company, are partners in the project. Wind Corporation Australia provided technical and commercial expertise as well as capital. SEDA provided initial fi nancial assistance. Wind Corporation Australia received
funding from the CVC Renewable Energy Equity Fund (REEF), a $26.5 million venture capital fund established by the Federal Government to increase investment in renewable energy technologies.

Environmental impact of the farm
During the planning phase, all environmental impacts were assessed in collaboration with the local council. The community was involved in the planning process through regular consultations and several public meetings. Environmental issues such as impact on local flora and fauna, electromagnetic interference, visual amenity and noise were addressed.
Hampton Wind Park Corporation conducted extensive noise monitoring and modelling work during the planning phase and modelled the impact of the wind park on nearby residents.
Hampton Park generates enough electricity to power around 500 homes in the local area.
This saves over 3000 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year.

Owner: Hampton Wind Park Company
Capacity: 1.3 MW
Location: Hampton, New South Wales
Commissioned: 20 September 2001
Capital Cost: $2.5 million
Operator: Hickory Hill Wind Energy

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