Australian Capital Territory

Ararat wind farm powers ACT towards 100 per cent renewable electricity target

SEVENTY-FIVE turbines at the Ararat wind farm in Victoria are now feeding renewable electricity into the national grid as part of the ACT's 100 per cent renewable electricity target, Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Shane Rattenbury announced last week.

Black Mountain, Canberra
Above: Black Mountain, Canberra / by Prescott Pym.

"The farm will generate about 272,000 megawatt-hours of clean, renewable electricity each year which is enough to power around 37,000 Canberra homes and ensure we are well on the way to achieving our 100% renewable electricity target," Mr Rattenbury said.

The Ararat Wind Farm is the sixth large-scale renewable electricity generator to begin output supported by ACT feed-in tariffs. Once all six are generating, the ACT will be sourcing 50 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources.

"Once again the ACT is leading the way by reaching key milestones as we progress towards our ambitious renewable energy targets, and showing the Federal Government how to deliver on a clean energy future."

After bidding in the ACT's first Wind Auction in 2015, the Ararat Wind Farm signed an agreement with the ACT guaranteeing the purchase of approximately 40 per cent of the electricity produced at the site.

Mr Rattenbury said the Sapphire, Hornsdale Stage 2 and Crookwell 2 wind farms will begin generation next year, with Hornsdale Stage 3 to begin generation in 2019 and be the final piece in allowing the ACT to achieve 100 per cent of its power from renewables by 2020.

"This is good news for consumers as well as climate change mitigation, as the ACT Government has locked-in a set price for the renewable electricity produced by 10 wind and solar projects, including Ararat, for the next 20 years," the Minister said.

"If the generators make more money than the set price for the electricity they sell into the national electricity market, they pay the difference back to the ACT. This is a way of providing long term certainty to ACT electricity consumers and helping insulate them from further wholesale price rises into the future."

The Ararat Wind farm has been developed by RES Australia and will be operated and managed by ACT wind company Windlab.

Photo: Black Mountain, Canberra / 'Tall Tower, Long Shadow' / Prescott Pym / Licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0.

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