The Victoria government has announced planning approval for a new 40 MW wind farm in the state’s west, continuing the boom in renewable energy projects.
Approval was given by minister for planning Richard Wynne for the Wonwondah wind farm, also known as the Rifle Butts wind farm, to be developed by NewEn, and which will feature 13 turbines south-west of Horsham.
NewEn describes itself as a family owned wind development company based in Germany, where it has 15 projects. It had several other wind projects in Australia, but sold them at an early stage, including the soon to be complete 54MW Salt Creek wind farm.
Wynne said the site has been chosen because it receives undisturbed wind flow with strong, consistent wind speeds near the existing electrical grid.
The Victoria government expects around $9 billion of investment in wind and solar projects to meet its state target of 40 per cent renewables by 2025. The results of an auction for wind and solar capacity is expected to be announced next month.
“This new wind farm is another important step forward in creating a more sustainable future for regional Victoria, powering 25,000 homes and creating 120 construction jobs along the way,” Wynne said in a statement.
“In stark contrast to the Coalition who tried to smash the wind industry, we’re supporting the renewables sector to create local jobs and deliver affordable clean energy for hard-working families.”
The Labor member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford, said it was a win for the region, for local jobs and the environment. ”
Unlike the Coalition who tried to shut down the renewables industry, we’re supporting it to power our regional areas and create jobs.”
Friends of the Earth also challenged the Liberal Opposition, noting that it voted against the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) in 2017 and has pledged to scrap the policy that will create an estimated 10,000 jobs if elected in November.
As you may have guessed, a state election is to be held in November.
Construction is anticipated to commence in early 2019.