a plane flying in the sky: Golden Plains wind farm could replace a third of the energy supply of the decommissioned Hazelwood power station.© Bloomberg through Getty Pictures
Golden Plains wind farm may change a 3rd of the vitality provide of the decommissioned Hazelwood energy station.

The managing director of an organization that plans to assemble Victoria’s largest wind farm says the undertaking will provide sufficient energy to switch as much as a 3rd of the technology of the decommissioned Hazelwood energy station at lower than $50/MWh.

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The Victorian authorities has granted a planning allow for WestWind Vitality’s $1.5bn Golden Plains wind farm, which can change into one of many largest wind farms within the southern hemisphere.

The undertaking is now awaiting federal approval to proceed.

The wind farm would span 17,000 hectares on land 60km north-west of Geelong and generate greater than 3000 gigawatt hours of electrical energy per 12 months – sufficient to energy greater than 400,000 houses.

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Tobias Geiger, the managing director of WestWind Vitality, stated the big scale undertaking would have the ability to provide vitality at low price.

“With this very massive undertaking and excellent wind useful resource, mixed with the most recent wind turbine know-how that’s now accessible, we will obtain a levelised price of vitality for this undertaking that’s under $50 per MW/h,” he stated.

“If you happen to put that into the context of electrical energy market costs from Victoria which for the previous two years have hovered round $80 to $120 per MW/h, you may see the importance of this undertaking for driving down electrical energy costs for all Victorians.”

The corporate has begun detailed design work and an software for grid connection by way of the Australian Vitality Market Operator.

That course of will take a few 12 months earlier than development may begin.

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The Victorian authorities’s approval of the undertaking requires the corporate to extend the turbine-free buffer space to guard nesting grounds utilized by native brolga birds.

That can scale back the unique proposal from 228 generators and should end in a discount to 181 generators. Geiger stated on Saturday the corporate estimated it might assemble round 200 generators.

“We’re going through very thrilling occasions for renewable vitality and specifically the transition from thermal technology to renewables,” he stated.

“The Golden Plains wind farm will change about one third of the technology of the Hazelwood energy station. In all probability throughout the subsequent three or 4 years, the hole that was left by Hazelwood might be nicely and really stuffed.”

The Andrews authorities has elevated Victoria’s renewable vitality goal to 50% by 2030.

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“This undertaking will create tons of of native jobs, scale back greenhouse emissions and generate sufficient electrical energy to energy greater than 400,000 houses – boosting provide and placing downward strain on energy costs,” the performing planning minister Lily D’ambrosio stated.

Simon Holmes à Court docket, a senior advisor on the Local weather and Vitality Faculty at Melbourne College, stated greater generators, higher websites, economies of scale and extra aggressive financing “have actually halved the price of of wind vitality”.

“At $50/MWh — simply 5 cents per kWh — the Golden Plains wind farm will produce energy for lower than the market price of gas alone for a lot of coal and all fuel energy stations,” he stated.

“And it’s massive — anticipated to offer between 8–10% of Victoria’s vitality.”

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