New Zealand renewable energy developer Trustpower says it has won planning approval for a 300MW wind farm near Dundonnell, in south-west Victoria, and could begin construction next year.
The approval was granted by the Victorian government after an extensive assessment process, which included a study of the potential impacts into brolga populations.
Trustpower chief executive Vince Hawksworth said the 96-turbine wind farm, which would be one of the largest in the state, and in the country, could begin construction in the second half of 2017, with production commencing in 2018.
Hawksworth welcomed the recent announcement by the state government to target 25 per cent renewable energy by 2020, and 40 per cent by 2025, which will require some 5,400MW of new capacity in the state.
“We commend the government for this plan and its support of the renewable energy sector, which will bring jobs, economic investment and environmental benefits to Victoria,” he said in a statement.
“We support the government’s zero emissions plan for 2050 and look forward to contributing to this plan through the potential development of the Dundonnell Wind Farm.”
The announcement came as Victoria announces the winners of its tender for large scale renewable energy certificates that will see another two new wind farms built in the state over the next year.
Trustpower is proposing a demerger that would place its wind farm assets in New Zealand and Australia into a separate company. It says it has three projects with planning approvals in Australia that total more than 500MW of potential new capacity.
Its operating projects include the 270MW Snowtown wind project in South Australia.
The company says the wind farm will be located in “stony rise country” that is limited to grazing for income, and was initially proposed by a group of local land owners.
TrustPower will now begin its construction planning, including economic and wind turbine procurement assessments, and expected to be in a position to make an investment decision in 12 months time.