Portal:Renewable energy/Selected article/5

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Mount Millar wind farm at sunset

Wind power has become a significant energy source within South Australia over the past decade. As of August 2014, there was an installed capacity of 1,473 MW, which accounts for 27 per cent of electricity production in the state. This represents around half of the nation's installed wind power capacity. The rapid growth of wind power in South Australia has enabled the state to achieve its target of sourcing 20% of electricity from renewable energy sources three years ahead of schedule.

The development of wind power capacity in South Australia has been encouraged by a number of factors. These include the Australian Government's Mandatory Renewable Energy Target, which require electricity retailers to source a proportion of energy from renewable sources, incentives from the South Australian Government including a supportive regulatory regime and a payroll tax rebate scheme for large scale renewable energy developments. Also the state's proximity to the Roaring forties means there are high quality wind resources for wind farms to exploit. In mid-2009, RenewablesSA was established by the South Australian Government to encourage further investment in renewable energy to the state.

The load factor (or capacity factor) for South Australian wind farms is usually in the range 32-38%. This means that a wind farm could typically produce between 32 and 38% of its nameplate capacity averaged over a year.