A 336MW Victoria wind farm inspired by local landowners, and then selected by the state government’s renewable energy auction scheme, has begun construction. The Dundonnell wind farm, north-east of Mortlake, will be one of the biggest in Victoria, and was one of three wind and three solar farms that won a contract with the Victoria government in what was the largest tender for renewable energy in the country.
That government contract, which accounts for 37 per cent of the wind farm’s proposed output, was followed by a 15-year contract for half the output with Snowy Hydro, as part of its package of 888MW of ‘firm’ wind and solar well below the price of fossil fuels and current wholesale prices.
Tilt Renewables, which is developing the $560 million project, said on Monday that construction teams were ready to begin on the wind farm as early as this week. Tilt general manager of renewable development, Clayton Delmarter, said 200 jobs would be created through the construction of the project, many of which would be sourced from local labour.
Distribution company AusNet Services was also set to begin work on the project’s transmission line, Delmarter said.
“Construction will take about 22 months, and the transmission line 14 months,” he said. “Dundonnell Wind Farm will be one of the largest in the state, and once operational will employ 10 full-time staff.”
The completed 80-turbine wind farm is expected to produce enough electricity to power around 245,000 homes.
The project site, which Tilt Renewables bought in 2013 (at that time the company was called TrustPower), incorporates 12 host landholders across around 4,500 hectares.
On the project website, Tilt says those same landholders were “the inspiration” for the project.
“(They were) keen to host (turbines) on their properties … largely made of stony rise country and predominantly used for grazing stock.”
As we reported here, Tilt is also working on a number of other significant projects in Australia, including the addition of a 40MW solar farm and a 20MW battery to its Snowtown wind complex in South Australia; the Waddi project in W.A. that could combine 105MW of wind and 40MW of solar; and the Highbury pumped hydro project in an old quarry in the Adelaide foothills.
It has a further three solar projects and a further five wind projects also in the development pipeline.