Victoria’s clean energy stocks are set to rise, as construction on the 132-megawatt Mount Gellibrand wind farm in the state’s south-west finally gets underway, five years after approval was granted in 2012.
Global renewable energy giant, Acciona, says its investment of $258 million into the new project is a sign of a strengthening market for wind energy in Australia.
“We are very pleased to have achieved viability for 132 MW of wind power capacity in Victoria, which will mean higher investment, more jobs and a greater contribution of clean energy to the community, within our clear growth strategy in the country,” said Acciona Energy Oceania Managing Director Andrew Thomson, during a ground-breaking ceremony last week.
NEW WIND FARM OPERATIONAL IN 2018
Consisting of forty-four Nordex AW125/3000 wind turbines – large 3-megawatt turbines optimised for maximum energy output and minimal noise – the new wind farm will employ over 100 people during its construction phase and source equipment from Victorian companies.
Electricity generated will be sold on the wholesale energy market, and the Victorian government last year committed to a 10-year purchasing agreement for renewable energy certificates (RETs) from the wind farm.
Upon completion in July 2018, the Mt Gellibrand project will produce roughly 430 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity per year, equivalent to the electricity consumption of around 60,000 homes, and avoid the emission of over 400,000 tonnes of CO2 from the state’s coal-fired power plants.
AUSTRALIA NOW TOP TIER RENEWABLE NATION
The Mt Gellibrand wind farm will contribute to Acciona’s stable of operational wind projects in Australia. The company has 302.5 MW of wind capacity currently installed across three wind farms: Cathedral Rocks (64 MW, South Australia), Waubra (192 MW, Victoria) and Gunning (46.5 MW, New South Wales), and also built the 20 MW Royalla solar PV plant in the ACT.
These projects combine to make Australia Acciona Energy’s fourth-most valuable country in terms of wind development after Spain, the USA and Mexico.
According to a statement, the company currently has wind power and photovoltaic projects under development in Australia that it expects to materialize in the near future.
Present in Australia since 2002, ACCIONA has invested $680 million in its Australian operations and employs more than 500 people in its renewable energy, infrastructure and water projects across the country.