GE to build Australia's largest wind farm

AUSTRALIA: GE will install 123 turbines at the 453MW Coopers Gap project, set to become Australia's largest wind farm.

On completion of Coopers Gap, GE will be responsible for almost 1.4 GW on wind capacity in Australia
On completion of Coopers Gap, GE will be responsible for almost 1.4 GW on wind capacity in Australia

AGL Energy has sold the Coopers Gap wind farm at Cooranga North, 250km north-west of Brisbane to the Powering Australia Renewables Fund (PARF) for A$22 million (US$17.3 million).

Energy company AGL, which has a 20% stake in PARF, also awarded an engineering procurement contract to GE Renewable Energy for the project, which is set to produce around 1.51TWh a year.

GE will supply 91 3.6MW turbines with a diameter of 137 metres, and 32 of its 3.8MW turbines with 130-metre rotors. It will also maintain the project for 25 years.

Peter McCabe, president and CEO of GE’s onshore wind business, said: "Australia is a great market for wind. After the US, it is GE’s second largest region globally for renewable energy.

"While we see lots of opportunities in Australia, we need to continue to have policy certainty to drive investment."

PARF, which is 80% run by Australian consortium Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), was set up in June 2016 to develop roughly 1GW of large-scale renewable energy projects. To date, more than 800MW of projects, operated and managed by AGL, have been acquired.

PARF’s target of 1GW represents 20% of the estimated 5GW of new renewable generation capacity needed by 2020 to meet the Australian federal government’s renewable energy target.

AGL’s chief financial officer, Brett Redman, said: "PARF has played a key role in a rapid up-tick in generation project development in Australia.

"This demonstrates the effectiveness of the investment model, the falling price and increasing efficiency of renewables technology and the key role renewables have to play in providing clean and affordable energy for Australia."

In 2015, AGL pledged to shut all its coal-fired power stations by 2050 as part of an effort to help Australia limit global warming to less than 2ºC above pre-industrial levels.

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