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International investors awarded Victorian wind farm projects::

Clean energy projects are gaining momentum in Australia, with several factors converging to encourage investors to re-engage, such as:


  • the Renewable Energy Target of 33,000GWh by 2020 gaining bipartisan Australian parliamentary support (June 2015)

 

  • Australia signing the United Nation’s COP21 agreement in Paris (December 2015)

 

  • the Victorian Government setting a renewable energy target of 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025 (June 2015).

 

Two international renewable energy developers recently announced new wind farm projects in Victoria.


Trustpower Dundonnell Wind Farm


New Zealand-based Trustpower announced a A$650 million investment to develop the Dundonnell Wind Farm project in South West Victoria. After an extensive assessment process, the Victorian Government granted planning approval to Trustpower in July 2016 for Dundonnell, which will have up to 96 turbines generating a potential 300MW of electricity. Trustpower is undertaking the final steps to obtain approval for Dundonnell under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth).


Trustpower’s Dundonnell Wind Farm will be one of the largest in Victoria and is expected to generate enough energy to power 140,000 homes. The project will create close to 300 jobs during construction and 16 full-time positions when operational. Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2017 and the wind farm is expected to become operational by late 2018.


Acciona Australia Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm


In July 2016, Spain’s Acciona announced it will commence construction of a 44-turbine Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm project in Victoria’s Colac region, after winning the Victorian Government tender for the purchase of green energy certificates linked to renewable energy generated in Victoria.


The Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm is expected to generate approximately 132MW of electricity and once completed, will power enough clean energy for more than 60,000 households. According to Acciona Australia, the A$275 million project will create over 100 construction jobs and approximately 10 ongoing full-time equivalent positions on site. Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm is expected to become operational in mid-2018.


Tony Eyres, Senior Investment Specialist, Resources and Energy at Austrade, says the Trustpower and Acciona approvals demonstrate Australia’s renewable energy industry is strong and will continue to grow, to attract the considerable capital required to meet agreed targets.

‘While wind and solar projects dominate, there is also considerable interest in other renewable energy sources such as wave, tidal and hydroelectric power,’ he says.