Australian Capital Territory

Three wind farm projects win contracts in ACT Government wind power auction

TWO wind farm projects in Victoria and another in South Australia have been revealed as the winners of the ACT Government's 200 megawatt wind power auction, as part of plans for renewable energy sources to generate 90 per cent of the Territory's energy usage by 2020.

The successful Victorian projects are RES Australia's 80.5-megawatt Ararat Wind Farm (at a feed-in tariff price of $87.00 per megawatt hour) and Windlab Limited's 19.4-megawatt Coonooer Bridge Wind Farm, west of Bendigo (at a feed-in tariff price of $81.50 per megawatt hour).

The third successful project is the 100-megawatt Hornsdale Wind Farm, located south-east of Port Augusta in South Australia and developed by Neoen, with a feed-in tariff price of $92.00 per megawatt hour.

Albany Wind Farm, WA
Above: A wind farm at Albany in Western Australia / by David Clarke.

ACT Environment Minister Simon Corbell said the wind energy reverse auction has resulted in a $50 million direct investment into the local economy and broader economic benefits in excess of $240 million.

"The auction has also delivered low renewable energy prices and enough renewable energy to provide for approximately 33% of Canberra's electricity needs," Mr Corbell said.

"The three successful wind farm projects, including one to be developed by a local Canberra company, are expected to be operational by 2017.

"Combined they will deliver almost 200 megawatts of renewable energy generation capacity for the territory, enough to power 107,000 Canberra homes, and will result in a 580,000 tonne reduction in the ACT's carbon emissions each year, the equivalent of taking 157,000 cars off the road."

The pass through cost to consumers for the 200 megawatts of wind power is expected to peak at $1.79 per household per week in 2020 before declining after. This is part of total cost of reaching 90 per cent renewable energy use, which is estimated to peak at $4.67 per household per week in 2020 before declining after.

"The three successful projects will deliver a range of benefits for the ACT through a $50 million economic stimulus package, including new jobs, a new national trades training centre, an innovation fund for small Canberra renewables businesses and a $7 million investment in new courses at the Canberra Institute of Technology and the ANU," Mr Corbell said.

"This is not just about sourcing renewable energy; this project will secure Canberra as the renewable energy capital, providing jobs and economic benefits for all Canberrans.

"Our location, our policies and the expertise of local small businesses and premier research institutions, make the ACT the leading jurisdiction in the nation for renewable investment."

More information is available from the ACT Government's Environment and Planning Directorate website at <http://www.environment.act.gov.au/energy/wind_power>.

Photo: Albany Wind Farm, WA / David Clarke / Licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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