Wind farm’s future is uncertain
Speculation surrounding Murra Warra Wind Farm development north of Horsham continues as one of the major companies involved in the project works through significant financial issues.
Turbine supplier and installer Senvion Australia released a brief statement yesterday, saying it ‘has been working closely with the project team to support the safe delivery of the Murra Warra Wind Farm’.
The German-based company was
unwilling to expand on the Wimmera project, other than to provide details of its April 9 media release saying it was ‘accelerating’ a ‘transformation program, launched in January, with a self-administered restructuring plan’.
The release included a declaration that – ‘business operations shall be continued; a goal of full recovery remained; and a financing offer was in process of being discussed between lenders and bond holders’.
What this means about the future of the two-stage, 116-turbine wind-farm project remains unclear.
Murra Warra Wind Farm project, developed by RES Australia and owned by Partners Group, has an engineering, procurement and construction contract with Senvion Gmbh and Downer Utilities Australia.
A Telstra-led consortium of energy users also including the ANZ Bank, Coca-cola Amatil and the University of Melbourne, signed a power-purchase agreement from the wind farm in 2017.
Construction of a 61-tower stage one is well underway and giant towers are dramatically changing the plains landscape between Horsham and Warracknabeal.
The 226-megawatt, $247-million first stage of the project is scheduled to be providing power equivalent to meeting the needs of 220,000 houses to the electricity grid by August.
Project engineers had ‘energised’ or completed operational work on four wind towers late yesterday and in ideal circumstances expect to complete two towers a week as part of a commissioning process.
Wind farm communications officer Susan Findlay-tickner acknowledged the speculation but said it was a case of ‘business as usual’ at the site.
“The Murra Warra Wind Farm site has been energised and this allows for the necessary turbine testing and commission before exporting electricity to the grid,” she said.
“The site energisation marks a significant project milestone and will ensure the first section of the project will be fully operation and generating electricity by the middle of the year.”
There are no guarantees in place for construction of a 55-tower second stage.