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HydroTasmania plans Australia's largest wind farm at 600MW

Australian energy firm HydroTasmania is planning to build a 600MW wind farm on Tasmania’s King Island.

The project, known as TasWind, would cost around A$2bn ($2.1bn) and would produce about 2400GWh of renewable energy for the national market, or more than 5% of Australia's renewable energy target (RET), says the company.

If it goes ahead, the project is likely to be Australia’s largest wind farm, surpassing the 420MW Macarthur project in Victoria.

HydroTasmania has launched a three-month consultation with the local community prior to assessing the wind farm’s viability, according to a statement.

If it receives the backing of the community and completes a feasibility study and necessary regulatory approvals, construction would begin in 2017, with operation expected to start in 2019.

The energy produced would be transmitted into the national electricity market using a high-voltage direct current underwater cable across Bass Strait to Victoria state, according to the plan.

HydroTasmania will seek private equity from joint venture partners to build the wind farm, as well as investigating Commonwealth strategic funding opportunities, says the company.

The company is currently building the 168MW Musselroe wind farm and also owns two wind projects at Woolnorth on Tasmania.

Australia has a goal of generating 20% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2020.