Spanish global renewable energy developer, Acciona Energy, has received final approval from the Victoria’s conservative Liberal-National state government to build the 63 turbine Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm in south-west Victoria.
Brett Wickham, Acciona Energy’s Director Generation, said, “We are very pleased to announce that Acciona’s development plan for the Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm has been endorsed by the Department of Planning and Community Development enabling the project to now proceed to construction.”
The Victorian state government has recently introduced regulations which mean that companies seeking to build wind farms in the future will have to obtain the permission of all landowners within a two kilometre radius, seen as a move that will prevent many projects from going ahead.
“This final approval enables Acciona to proceed to construction of the Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm.
“The Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm will bring significant economic activity and benefits to the Colac region as well as providing a new source of clean, renewable energy.”
Mr Wickham said the farm would create about 200 jobs during construction and 16 ongoing positions once it was operating.
The Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm will have the capacity to produce 189 megawatts of clean, renewable energy each year and is expected to meet the energy needs of approximately 88,000 Victorian households annually.
Mr Wickham said up to 10 of the 149-metre turbines would be built within two kilometres of homes and could have been affected if the plant had been proposed under the new planning regime.
“The project would have been less viable because these projects are marginal and essentially we could have less turbines to pay off what is a significant investment in [power] grid connection and other things,” Mr Wickham said.
Acciona Energy is committed to engaging with the landowners, neighbours and the broader community to build effective relationships and ensure the success of the Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm.
The company operates the Waubra Wind Farm in Victoria and the Gunning Wind Farm in New South Wales, and is a joint venture partner for the Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm in South Australia.
Victoria has about 400 wind turbines, with another 1100 at various stages of development.