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Last Updated: Monday, 8 October 2007, 12:05 GMT 13:05 UK
Australia in giant wind farm plan
By Phil Mercer
BBC News, Sydney

Wind farm (file pic)
The area is said to have Australia's best wind resources
Plans to build Australia's largest wind farm have been announced by the German company Conergy.

The project would involve installing about 500 turbines near the outback town of Broken Hill in New South Wales.

The Australian government wants renewable sources to generate 15% of the country's energy needs by 2020.

The giant wind farm could generate enough electricity for 400,000 homes and put quite a dent in Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.

Research has shown that the sparsely populated site is particularly blustery.

Scientists have said it has some of Australia's "best wind resources".

'Overwhelming' support

The $1.8bn project is the idea of Conergy - one of Germany's largest solar power companies.

A spokesman for the firm said construction of the facility was expected to begin in 2009 and would take about three to four years to complete.

Negotiations with landowners have already begun.

The ambitious development would transform this dusty corner of Australia's interior.

The region was the back-drop for the post-apocalyptic movie Mad Max 2, released in the early 1980s.

Conergy has said there is overwhelming support for the project - both in the local community and from environmentalists.

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