ACCIONA Energy will begin construction on a wind farm in regional Victoria in early 2017, after winning a groundbreaking tender held by the state government for the purchase of green energy certificates linked to renewable energy generated in Victoria.
ACCIONA Energy Oceania Managing Director Andrew Thomson said the State Government's decision to purchase green energy certificates linked to 66 megawatts of the planned Mount Gellibrand wind farm has secured the $275 million project's future, driving job creation and investment in the region.
The tender process began in early February 2016, and closed on 23 March 2016. Tender details were published on tenders.vic.gov.au during this time under tender reference number RCPIS1RFT.
Mt Gellibrand (132 MW) will be ACCIONA's fourth wind farm in Australia, after Cathedral Rocks (64 MW in South Australia), Waubra (192 MW in Victoria) and Gunning (46.5 MW in New South Wales). With a total of 302.5 MW in operational capacity, Australia is Acciona Energy’s fourth largest market after Spain, the US and Mexico.
Image courtesy of ACCIONA Australia
Located 25 kilometres east of Colac and 17km west of Winchelsea, The Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm will bring significant economic activity and benefits to the Colac region. The $275m project is expected generate significant economic activity in the region, with over 100 construction jobs and approximately 10 ongoing full time equivalent positions on site. Construction work is expected to start in early 2017, with entry into service scheduled for 2018.
Construction will involve civil works (including building roads and excavating and pouring concrete footings), electrical installation (laying underground and overhead cabling, building substations), turbine erection (delivery of components, lifting into place and assembly by cranes) and commissioning (turning the turbines on).
Once completed, it will generate enough clean energy to power more than 60,000 households, while avoiding the emission of around 200,000 metric tons of CO2 to the atmosphere from coal-fired power stations every year.
Planning approval was granted by the State Government in 2006 for the development of up to 115 wind turbines. In 2008 ACCIONA Energy obtained the development rights to the Mt Gellibrand project.
ACCIONA Energy reduced the number of turbines on the project to 44, and has obtained final Development Plan approval from the State Government. Initial site establishment construction has now commenced, with full construction to progress ahead of operation commencing in early 2017.
The Victorian Government has also signed a deal for a second major wind farm project with Windlab, which will build a small wind energy project located 50km north west of Horsham, Victoria.