Snowtown, year 2000, dismembered bodies of eight people were found in barrels of acid in an old and disused bank vault. This gruesome discovery brought a negative publicity to the little country town in South Australia’s mid north. Although the victims were not from Snowtown, the unwelcome attention persisted for years as the trials were made into a film and produced four books as reported by The Guardian.
To any local, they will tell you that even before the tragic events happened, the place like any other rural communities as already in decline but the locals will also tell you that Snowtown in nowadays is rejuvenated. This is in part of the gales and howls across the nearby Barunga and Hummock Ranges.
South Australia leads the country and much of the world in producing power and electricity from renewable sources and Snowtown is in the center of wind energy. In 2008, the first stage of a $660M, 270MW farm with 47 turbines just 5 km west of the town. The second stage came on stream in 2014 with an additional of 90 turbines. The project was developed by New Zealand’s Trustpower and is South Australia’s biggest wind facility and second biggest in the country. It has created hundreds of construction jobs and 21 permanent positions.
According to Ian Hunter South Australia’s climate change minister, the project has taken out people from the unemployment queues. It also has put investments in schools and sports clubs and really helping the economy of the place that was really doing it tough a decade ago.
All in all, South Australia has 16 wind farms which has produced just over a third of the state’s electricity in 2014-15 and solar power provided another 7%. The combined numbers are projected to go up this past half year and well ahead of the projected 2025 target date.
Ian Hunter also added that progressive policies have placed Southern Australia in the vanguard of change. The state doesn’t have the natural environmental advantages as compared to the eastern states so they have always been innovative and innovation is in their blood.
(Image credit: Alternative Heat)