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Vestas to supply 168MW to Tasmania's biggest wind farm

Denmark’s Vestas has won a contract to supply 56 turbines to what will be the largest wind farm in the Australian island province of Tasmania.

Construction of the Musselroe wind farm in northeast Tasmania will begin this month, after owner and operator Hydro Tasmania finalised contracts for the A$400m ($407m) project.

Vestas will supply and install 56 V90 turbines of 3MW each on towers built by local company Haywards.

Vestas did not reveal the value of the 168MW deal, which brings its total orders in Australia to 905MW in 2009-2011 period.

Musselroe has been on the drawing board for seven years, but its original proponent, the Hydro Tasmania-CLP joint-venture Roaring 40s, was dissolved in April.

Hydro Tasmania chairman David Crean says a number of factors came together to enable the construction of Musselroe to proceed, most notably the federal government's renewable energy target scheme and carbon pricing.

The construction schedule aims to have the tower sections delivered to the site in late 2012, with the turbines arriving from Europe early the following year.

The wind farm is expected to be completed and operating by July 2013.

A financial partner in the Musselroe project is expected to be announced soon. In the meantime, it will be funded via Hydro Tasmania’s balance sheet.

Funds released by the pending completion of the Woolnorth wind farm divestment process, announced in September, will also contribute towards the project's cost.

Hydro Tasmania currently operates the 140MW Bluff Point and Studland Bay wind farms (collectively known as Woolnorth) in northwest Tasmania, where Vestas turbines are also used.