WestWind Energy announced yesterday that the commencement of construction of the largest approved Wind Farm in Victoria will start in early 2023, with Stage One of the Golden Plains Wind Farm project in Rokewood, North East of Geelong, having reached financial close.
WestWind Energy has a long history with the community in Golden Plains Shire, commencing wind monitoring in the region in 2005.
The Golden Plains Wind Farm project, which will be just over an hour’s drive from Wyndham, has been through an extensive planning process, including the state’s highest level of environmental scrutiny, an Environment Effects Statement.
The project, once completed, will generate over 4000 GWh of renewable electricity each year and will prevent more than 4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted to the atmosphere each year.
The project also delivers a comprehensive benefit sharing program that provides a range of benefit programs for the project neighbours.
WestWind Energy Managing Director Tobias Geiger said: “This is a landmark moment after 15 years’ development, extensive planning and consultation, meeting the highest level of environmental scrutiny, forging community partnerships and enduring years of energy policy struggles under previous governments to bring the project to fruition.
“We look forward to not only helping deliver clean energy to the people of Victoria but continuing to ensure the local community shares in the project benefits too,” Mr Geiger said.
All necessary agreements are now in place for the 122 turbine, 756MW first stage of the development to commence, with sole equity investor TagEnergy securing financing, and entering into an Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract with global turbine supplier Vestas.
AusNet Services will undertake the grid connection works, and a grid connection agreement is in place with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). The first stage of the project is expected to start producing green energy in 2024 and be completed in the second half of 2025.
Early works have already commenced in the region with finalisation of detailed designs, procurement of vital infrastructure, road upgrades and bridge replacement already occurring. These works will support construction of the wind farm and benefit ease of travel for local residents with a number of road improvements.
TagEnergy CEO Franck Woitiez said “TagEnergy is proud to bring our expertise in large scale developments to drive this crucial project. Financial close for Stage One is a major milestone for the Golden Plains Wind Farm and our commitment to the Australian market as we work with our partners to help realise Victoria’s and Australia’s renewable energy ambitions”.
WestWind Energy will remain involved in the project as the company has been contracted under a longterm Asset Management agreement for the wind farm, to ensure compliance with permits and continue the community engagement that has already been underway for many years.
Using clean energy & innovation to bring light to people’s lives Stage One of Golden Plains Wind Farm will include 122 Vestas V162-6.2MW™ wind turbines from Vestas’ industry-leading EnVentus™ platform.
Senior Vice President and Country Head Vestas Australia and New Zealand, Danny Nielsen, said: “As the largest manufacturer, installer and maintenance provider of wind energy technology both globally and in Australia, we are proud to work with TagEnergy and Westwind on Stage One of this major project that represents Vestas’ biggest deal for an onshore wind farm in Asia Pacific.
“We are equally delighted that our ongoing participation will continue to bring vital economic and employment benefits to the region,” Mr Nielsen said TagEnergy and Westwind continue to develop the 500MW+ second stage and a 300MW battery at Golden Plains.
Stage One and Two combined will be the largest in Australia and will generate enough clean electricity to power 750,000 homes, or every home in regional Victoria.