Global wind energy giant Vestas notched up more than 1GW of turbine orders in Australia over the course of 2018, as the large-scale renewable energy market continues to boom Down Under.
The company reached the milestone in late December, after winning the engineering, procurement and construction contract to build a 184MW wind farm in Western Australia, a project being developed by Bright Energy Investments.
The Warradarge Wind Farm, which is on track to begin construction later this year in the state’s mid-west, has since been given the green light by the WA state government.
The site for the wind farm, near the town of Eneabba, has been praised by both Vestas and newly appointed state energy minister Bill Johnston for its “abundant” wind resource.
“The wind farm will have a total output of 180 megawatts with a 50pc capacity factor – the equivalent of the average annual electricity needs of 135,000 WA homes,” Johnston said in comments earlier this month.
“The state government remains committed to ensuring a transition to a renewable energy future at the lowest cost possible to WA taxpayers.
“By developing renewables projects, we are demonstrating our commitment to ensuring our State meets its 2020 Large-scale Renewable Energy Target obligations.”
Vestas says the project will feature 51 V136-3.45MW turbines delivered in 3.6MW Power Optimised Mode with hub heights of 84 meters to maximise performance in its specific wind conditions.
The wind farm also signals a new focus for Vestas on the WA market , which has lagged behind the rest of Australia on large-scale wind and solar installations.
This happily coincides with a new focus on large-scale renewables by the Labor McGowan government, which late last year opened up the state’s south-west interconnected network to just under 1GW of new big solar and wind, and appointed a new energy minister – Johnston – to shepherd the process.
“We are extremely pleased to work with Bright Energy Investments on this project,” said Vestas Asia Pacific President Clive Turton in comments.
“It has extraordinary wind conditions and will make an important contribution to powering Western Australia with competitive renewable energy.
“After the Warradarge Wind Farm comes online, Vestas will have an installed base of 561MW in Western Australia, expanding our service footprint and capability to support future projects in the state.”
Bright Energy Investments (BEI) is a joint venture between state-owned gen-tailer Synergy, global infrastructure fund DIF and super fund Cbus.
The group’s general manager of investments, Tom Frood, said the “high calibre of the parties involved” and the appointment of Vestas would ensure that wind farm was delivered on-schedule.
“Synergy has a strong history in Western Australian solar and wind assets, and is committed to increasing its renewable energy portfolio, and Vestas’ rich industry expertise and proven track record will ensure that the first power generation is on track for 2020”.
Vestas has also signed up to a 30-year Active Output Management 5000 (AOM 5000) service agreement, designed to maximise energy production for the lifetime of the project.