Big busi­ness at Crow­lands

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Western Vic­to­ria will again pro­vide the set­ting for an Aus­tralian first in re­new­able-en­ergy pro­duc­tion with con­struc­tion set to start on a new wind farm south of Ararat.

Crow­lands Wind Farm, de­vel­oped by Pa­cific Hy­dro, will be the first pro­ject of its kind in­volv­ing an en­ergy-buy­ing group in­volv­ing a con­sor­tium of 14 busi­ness part­ners.

Mel­bourne Re­new­able En­ergy Pro­ject in­volves City of Mel­bourne, Univer­sity of Mel­bourne, RMIT, Fed­er­a­tion Square, City of Port Phillip, City of Yarra, More­land City Coun­cil, Bank Aus­tralia, Zoos Vic­to­ria, Ci­ty­wide, Na­tional Aus­tralia Bank, Aus­tralia Post, Mel­bourne Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre and NEXTDC.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the pro­ject group and Pa­cific Hy­dro cel­e­brated the of­fi­cial start of con­struc­tion of the new 80-megawatt wind farm last week.

Mel­bourne act­ing lord mayor Ar­ron Wood said the 39-tur­bine wind farm would pro­vide elec­tric­ity to group part­ners, which had com­bined their pur­chas­ing power to sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of the farm.

“No other re­new­ables pro­ject has tack­led the com­plex­ity of 14 part­ners in one buy­ing group. We are proud to reach this mile­stone af­ter an­nounc­ing the Mel­bourne Re­new­able En­ergy Pro­ject in Novem­ber,” he said.

“Crow­lands Wind Farm will save MREP cus­tomers 96,000 tonnes of car­bon diox­ide ev­ery year and will cre­ate more than 140 con­struc­tion jobs as well as eight on­go­ing po­si­tions to op­er­ate and man­age the fa­cil­ity.

“This is an in­no­va­tive, cost-ef­fec­tive ap­proach to cre­at­ing and pur­chas­ing re­new­able en­ergy and also a great ex­am­ple of how a ma­jor city with a $92-bil­lion econ­omy can in­flu­ence pos­i­tive out­comes in our re­gional towns.”

Part­ner rep­re­sen­ta­tives made the most of the visit to Crow­lands to meet mem­bers of the com­mu­nity.

Mr Wood said work to trans­form the site into a wind farm started with con­struc­tion of ac­cess roads and bridges.

“We will in­stall 39 tur­bines over the next few months to pro­vide the 88 gi­gawatts of en­ergy we will pur­chase – enough to power more than 17,000 house­holds in Mel­bourne each year,” he said.

“The ad­di­tional power gen­er­ated will feed back into the grid and be used by busi­nesses and house­holds across south-east­ern Aus­tralia, im­prov­ing sup­ply and af­ford­abil­ity for all cus­tomers.”

Pa­cific Hy­dro will own and op­er­ate the wind farm when it com­pletes the pro­ject early next year, and its re­tail arm Tango En­ergy will sup­ply the power.

“Crow­lands will be one of the few re­gional Aus­tralian towns with a so­lar-pow­ered town hall when Pa­cific Hy­dro in­stalls a rooftop so­lar pho­to­voltaic sys­tem and stor­age bat­tery, just one of the projects that will be funded through its Com­mu­nity In­vest­ment Pro­gram,” Mr Wood said.

Big busi­ness gain­ing di­rect ac­cess to re­new­able en­ergy is also hap­pen­ing at a Bul­gana Green Power Hub pro­ject near Great Western.

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