Acciona is set to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in a new wind farm in Victoria, after success in the state’s Renewable Energy Auction Scheme.
Based in Melbourne, the company is already a major investor in the Victorian renewables sector. Its recently completed Mt Gellibrand facility is in the commissioning phase, while the wind farm at Waubra has been operating for almost a decade.
On completion the new 157.5 MW Mortlake South wind farm will increase Acciona’s installed renewable energy capacity in Australia by 36 per cent. It represents a $288 million capital investment that will create approximately 100 jobs, including around 10 ongoing roles during operations.
The facility will contribute to the Victorian Government’s Major Project Skills Guarantee, ensuring local apprentices, trainees and engineering cadets will work on the project.
There will also be opportunities for local suppliers to get involved, with Acciona committed to working with government and industry to promote tenders, making as much use as possible of local skills and promoting economic growth in the state.
Additionally, the company will continue its community engagement and benefits sharing activities, working with local councils and organisations to distribute funds throughout the entire operational life of the asset.
“This auction result broadens and deepens our investment in Victoria and Australia more generally,” said Brett Wickham, Acciona Energy Australia’s managing director. “We’re pleased that our track record and long-term, low-risk focus has been recognised, and we look forward to working with the Government, local suppliers and local communities to get Mortlake South up and running.”
Mortlake South will incorporate a scalable battery energy storage system to help boost performance and integration into the electricity grid. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2019, with completion expected in mid-2020.
The wind farm will generate the clean energy equivalent of the electricity consumption of almost 80,000 Australian households, avoiding the emission of over 532,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year.
Since entering the Australian market in 2002, Acciona has invested over $1.3 billion in the sector, and sees the country as a key strategic pillar within its global energy portfolio. Mortlake South will be Acciona Energy’s fifth wind farm in Australia after Mt Gellibrand (132 MW), Cathedral Rocks (64 MW in South Australia), Waubra (192 MW) and Gunning (46.5 MW in New South Wales)