$850m wind farm funded

The Australian Energy Review - - NEWS - Cameron Drum­mond

AGL En­ergy and GE have an­nounced devel­op­ment of the $850 mil­lion Coop­ers Gap wind farm near Cooranga North, 250km north­west of Bris­bane, af­ter AGL se­cured fund­ing from the Pow­er­ing Aus­tralian Re­new­ables Fund (PARF).

PARF is a part­ner­ship be­tween AGL (20 per cent) and the Queens­land In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (QIC) (80 per cent), on be­half of Fu­ture Fund and QIC Global In­fra­struc­ture Fund.

The 453 megawatt (MW) devel­op­ment will be Aus­tralia’s largest wind farm to date, cre­at­ing 200 jobs dur­ing con­struc­tion and a fur­ther 20 per­ma­nent roles dur­ing op­er­a­tion.

GE will sup­ply 91 3.6MW tur­bines with 137m ro­tors, and 32 3.8MW tur­bines with 130m ro­tors, as well as pro­vide a min­i­mum of 25 years’ worth of ser­vice and main­te­nance at the project, while CATCON will be re­spon­si­ble for wind farm con­struc­tion.

Due for com­ple­tion in 2019, Coop­ers Gap will pro­duce about 1.510 mil­lion megawatt hours of elec­tric­ity each year, enough to power the equiv­a­lent of more than 260,000 av­er­age Aus­tralian homes and re­duce CO2 emis­sions by 1.2 mil­lion tonnes per an­num.

The move is a part of PARF’S aim to de­velop about 1000MW of large-scale re­new­able projects, to be op­er­ated and man­aged by AGL.

QIC head of global in­fra­struc­ture Ross Is­rael said Coop­ers Gap rep­re­sented a sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment from PARF and for re­new­able en­ergy in re­gional QLD.

“The project is the largest com­mit­ted re­new­ables project in QLD [and] is a tes­ta­ment to the strength of our long term part­ner­ship with AGL and our abil­ity to work con­struc­tively through times of sig­nif­i­cant pol­icy un­cer­tainty in the en­ergy mar­ket,” Mr Is­rael said.

AGL man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Andy Ve­sey said more than 800MW of projects had now been vended into PARF in its first 12 months of op­er­a­tion, fol­low­ing on from the Sil­ver­ton wind farm and Nyn­gan and Bro­ken Hill so­lar projects.

“The strong sup­port we have re­ceived from our eq­uity part­ners for these projects is a tes­ta­ment to the readi­ness of the pri­vate sec­tor to in­vest in Aus­tralia’s en­ergy trans­for­ma­tion,” Mr Ve­sey said.

Im­age: GE.

GE will sup­ply and in­stall 123 wind tur­bines for Coop­ers Gap.

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