Two of the world’s largest energy companies, French giant Engie and American conglomerate GE, have announced plans to build a 119MW wind farm in South Australia, 160km north of Adelaide.
The two companies announced the agreement on Friday, to supply and install 32 wind turbines at the Willogoleche Wind Farm, adding yet another project to a state already shooting above 50 per cent renewable energy.
Jérôme Pécresse, President & CEO of GE Renewable Energy, said the company was working on nearly $2 billion in wind farm projects, representing more than 900MW generation capacity.
“This is an incredibly important region for GE globally, and we are committed to supporting Australia to achieve its renewable energy goals while maintaining reliable and affordable electricity supplies to businesses and households across the country,” he said in a statement.
The wind farm is the third major project to be announced for the state recently, alongside Reach Solar’s 220MW PV project at Bungala, near Port Augusta, and the Nexif Energy’s 212MW Lincoln Gap wind farm, also near Port Augusta.
“We have seen tremendous momentum in the Australian wind industry this year,” said GE Australia chief Geoff Culbert in a statement.
“This will be our fourth wind farm to begin construction in 2017, with more than 300 GE turbines either operating or under construction across the country, capable of powering the equivalent of more than 500,000 Australian homes with renewable energy.
“It is encouraging to see more projects like this reach financial close, and we look forward to continuing to bring the best renewables technology to Australia.”
For Engie, the wind farm at Willogoleche will be its second wind project in Australia, and the first time it has worked with GE on a renewables project in Australia. It also mirrors the shift the company is undertaking globally, from fossil fuels to renewable energy generation.
In March, Engie shut down one of Australia’s largest coal-fired generators, the Hazelwood brown coal power plant it majority owns in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, in line with its company-wide strategy to gradually end all coal activities.
“This is a key project for ENGIE as it tackles the major challenges in the energy transition and moves us towards a decarbonised, decentralised and digitised energy system,” said acting Engie Australia CEO Matt Donaldson.
“It’s great to be working with GE, a company with a similar mindset where digital is at the heart of everything it does. This ensures solutions are future-proofed and our customers enjoy world-leading technology that meets their energy needs.”
The project will use a a combination of GE’s 3.8MW turbines (24) and its 3.4MW turbines (8), with a tip height of 150m above ground level and a blade rotor diameter of 130m.