Australia

Australia

Three wind farms successful in Victoria's first tender

AUSTRALIA: Three wind farms with a combined capacity of more than 600MW have secured power off-take deals in Victoria's first renewable energy auction.

Victoria currently has just over 1.5GW of operational wind capacity, including the 240MW Ararat wind farm (above) (pic credit: RES Australia)
Victoria currently has just over 1.5GW of operational wind capacity, including the 240MW Ararat wind farm (above) (pic credit: RES Australia)

The successful projects will sell power to the state through 15-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) – for which only sparse details have been provided.

Victoria also awarded contracts to three solar PV projects with a combined capacity of 254.6MW.

The successful wind projects are:

  • The 180MW Berrybank project west of Geelong, to be developed by Global Power Generation, a joint venture of Spanish utility Naturgy and the Kuwait Investment Authority;
  • Tilt Renewables’ 336MW Dundonnell wind farm north-east of Warrnambool;
  • and Acciona’s 157.5MW Mortlake South site south of Mortlake.

All projects must be operational before the end of September 2020 under the terms of the contract.

Neither the state government nor the successful developers have disclosed the winning bids in the tender.

Tilt Renewables, however, did state that the PPA is for output from 29 of Dundonnell’s planned 80 turbines  — equivalent to output from 121.8MW of wind capacity. The developer is investigating opportunities to sell output from the project’s remaining 51 turbines, but plans to reach a financial investment decision on the basis that they will be uncontracted.

It added that the whole 336MW Dundonnell site will be constructed at once, rather than in stages.

Acciona’s Mortlake South project, meanwhile, will comprise 35 Nordex turbines with individual power ratings of 4.5MW. It will also incorporate an energy storage component to improve its performance and facilitate grid integration, Acciona added.

The developer stated the Victorian government would buy "approximately 70% of the output". A spokesperson added that Acciona is "currently exploring commercial opportunities for the remainder of the capacity".

Acciona plans to build the build the project all at once in the next two years.

Global Power Generation did not disclose to which portion of their respective projects the PPAs related.

Victoria aims to source 25% of its electricity generation with renewable sources by 2020 and 40% by 2025. It currently has just over 1.5GW of operational wind capacity, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly.

The Clean Energy Council praised the Victorian government for its reverse auction scheme, describing it as a "well-designed policy" that would save consumers money, provide a boost for jobs, and give investors certainty.

Its chief executive Kane Thornton said: "Reducing power bills and emissions while securing the reliability of the power supply is achievable, and states like Victoria are showing it can be done with a mix of policies that are ambitious but achievable.

"Our industry is excited to continue working with the state government to transform the economy to one which is smarter and cleaner."

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