The CEO of a company intending to build Victoria's largest wind farm states that the project will provide enough energy to replace up to a third of the generation of the disused Hazelwood power plant to less than $ 50 / MWh.
The Victorian Government granted planning permission for WestWind Energy's $ 1.5 billion Golden Plains wind farm, which will become one of the largest wind farms in the southern hemisphere.
The project is now awaiting federal approval to proceed.
The wind farm would occupy 17,000 hectares on land 60 kilometers northwest of Geelong and generate more than 3,000 gigawatt hours of electricity per year – enough to power more than 400,000 homes.
Tobias Geiger, CEO of WestWind Energy, said the large-scale project would be able to provide energy at a low cost.
"With this very large project and a very good wind resource, combined with the latest wind turbine technology now available, we are able to have a leveled energy cost for this project that is less than $ 50 per MW / h ", he said.
"If you put it in the context of Victoria's electricity market prices that have fluctuated around $ 80 for $ 120 per MW / h in the last two years, you can see the importance of this project to reduce electricity prices for all Victorians. "
The company began a detailed design work and application for connection to the grid through the Australian energy market operator .
This process will take about a year before construction begins.
The approval of the project by the Victorian government requires the company to increase the turbine-free buffer area to protect the nesting grounds used by native birds.
original proposal from 228 turbines and may result in a reduction to 181 turbines. Geiger said Saturday the company estimated to build around 200 turbines.
"We are facing very exciting times for renewable energy and in particular the transition from thermal generation to renewables," he said.
"The Golden Plains wind farm will replace about a third of the Hazelwood power plant generation, probably within the next three to four years, the void left by Hazelwood will be well filled."
Andrews' government has increased Victoria's 50% renewable energy target by 2030.
"This project will create hundreds of local jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate enough electricity to power more than 400,000 homes – increasing Offering and exerting downward pressures on energy prices, "said Minister of Planning Lily D'Ambrosio.
Simon Holmes à Court, senior consultant at the Climate and Energy College of the University of Melbourne, said that bigger turbines, better sites, economies of scale and more competitive funding "have literally halved the cost of ;wind energy".
"At $ 50 / MWh – only 5 cents per kWh – The Golden Plains wind farm will produce energy for less than the market fuel cost alone for many coal and gas power plants," he said.
"And it's great – it should provide between 8% and 10% of Victoria's energy."