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June 28, 2015

Contract awarded to build 240MW Ararat Wind Farm in Australia

A consortium of five companies, including General Electric (GE), Renewable Energy Systems (RES) and Downer, have won a $450m contract to deliver the 240MW Ararat Wind Farm in south-west Victoria, Australia.

By Shreosree Banerjee

Image

A consortium of five companies, including General Electric (GE), Renewable Energy Systems (RES) and Downer, have won a $450m contract to deliver the 240MW Ararat Wind Farm in south-west Victoria, Australia.

The facility is claimed to be the third largest wind farm in the country. It will be equipped with 75 wind turbines.

The project will be financed by Partners Group, RES, OPTrust and GE, who are the shareholders for the development.

This contract follows a bipartisan support for the Renewable Energy Target (RET), in Australia which scaled back the renewable target to 33,000 GWh within 2020.

"The facility is claimed to be the third largest wind farm in the country."

Commissioning of the Ararat facility has been scheduled for April 2017 and is expected to be developed over two years.

The plant will meet the power requirements of nearly 123,000 Australian households every year.

About 40% of the generated renewable power at the facility will be supplied to Australian Capital Territory Government (ACT) under a power purchase agreement (PPA), which had been awarded to the global consortium in February this year.

Development, construction and commissioning of the project will be handled by RES.

Once commissioned, GE will be responsible for the operations and maintenance of the wind facility under a ten-year service agreement.

GE Australia, New Zealand and PNG president and CEO Geoff Culbert said: "The wind farm will have significant local impact.

"It will employ around 165 workers directly in the construction phase, another 120 indirectly, and is expected to inject at least $7m-$8m into the local economy around Ararat over two years.

"The project will also establish a local community fund which will inject more than $2m in support of good causes over its lifetime."

RES Australia chief operating officer Matt Rebbeck said: "The Ararat Wind Farm will also be partnering with ACT researchers and institutions on projects that will potentially have global applications and support the ACT as a positive place for renewable energy companies to invest, plus a positive model for other states to follow in unlocking the potential of clean energy projects in Australia."

Partners Group Asia-Pacific managing director and Private Infrastructure head Benjamin Haan said: "The timing of our investment aligns with increased certainty around Australia’s Renewable Energy Target, which will require a substantial build-out of renewables in the coming years."


Image: The 240MW Ararat wind farm in south-west Victoria will feature 75 turbines. Photo: courtesy of General Electric.

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