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Australia — $1 million a year makes up 5 per cent of dividends for a wind farm

Phillip Thomson — The Canberra Times — February 23, 2013

A Canberra company is chasing wind all over the world

FROM a small office in Canberra, billions of dollars worth of wind turbines are being proposed for large slabs of land across the world.

The office is quiet. Several people tap away at their keyboards. A number of the staff are graduates from ACT universities. In a room off to the side are a set of computers 250 times faster than a standard laptop.

Two air-conditioners stop the computers overheating.

Luke Osborne and Nathan Steggel say wind farms can help the ACT government meet its 2020 renewable energy target.

The computers are churning through huge amounts of commercially sensitive data.

Their job is to track the wind. To find out where it blows and where it blows reliably.

Sometimes the computers are focused on entire countries at a time.

Once the ”hot spots”, as they are called in the wind game, are found, the people move in.

Nathan Steggel and Luke Osborne sit just a few metres away from the room. These two men are modern-day prospectors.

They could be the new faces of the energy industry. They have already proven to be novel thinkers in the wind sector.

Steggel has a PhD in computational fluid dynamics and is from the United Kingdom.

Osborne is an engineer and fifth-generation Bungendore resident. His family owns land not far from Infigen Energy’s Capital Wind Farm.

Once the computers give them the results, they turn up to the place they have mapped from several thousand kilometres away – perhaps to a village in the US or a town in South Africa – to determine whether a wind farm worth hundreds of millions of dollars can be built there.

(To continue reading, click here)

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