webcam image: Antarctica New Zealand
It may be only one megawatt in size and consist of three turbines, but the Ross Island wind farm, built and owned by Meridian Energy can now claim to be the first on Antarctica. Supplying 11% of the electricity for New Zealand's Scott Base and the United States' McMurdo Station, the project will replace some 122,000 gallons of diesel fuel.The whole thing was inaugurated on Saturday with the flicking of an oversized light switch and a live broadcast to Auckland--Meridian Energy is from New Zealand.
According to the Meridian project manager's blog, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was supposed to attend the event, but, well, events in Haiti changed her travel plans a bit. Instead New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully and US ambassador David Huebner attended in Hillary's, as well as several notable New Zealanders.
Project manager Scott Bennett told Reuters, "The philosophy is to get this one up and running, get it operating for a year and it can show us the way forward."
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