GE Renewable Energy and leading Australian electricity utility AGL will partner on developing the country’s largest wind farm, the 453 megawatt Coopers Gap Wind Farm in the country’s northeast.
AGL Energy Limited, one of Australia’s leading electricity utilities, announced this week that it had reached financial close on the sale to the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF) of the 453 MW (megawatt) Coopers Gap Wind Farm project. PARF is a partnership between AGL and the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) — itself, on behalf of clients the Future Fund and the QIC Global Infrastructure Fund. In addition, GE Renewable Energy announced that it will supply 123 wind turbines — 91 of its 3.6 MW turbines and 32 of its 3.8 MW turbines.
Upon completion, the Coopers Gap Wind Farm will produce approximately 1,510,000 MWh (MW-hours) of renewable energy each year, and go down as the largest wind farm in Australia. The project will deliver enough electricity to supply the equivalent of 260,000 average Australian homes, and reduce CO2 emissions by 1,180,000 tonnes each year.
The Powering Australian Renewables Fund is targeting the development and management of approximately 1 GW (gigawatts) worth of large-scale renewable energy projects. AGL has already announced on behalf of PARF the sale into the fund of the 102 MW Nyngan and 53 MW solar projects, and the 200 MW Silverton Wind Farm project.
“More than 800 MW of projects have now been vended into PARF since its inception in July 2016, following the earlier transactions involving the Silverton Wind Farm project and Nyngan and Broken Hill Solar Plants in New South Wales,” said AGL Managing Director & CEO, Andy Vesey. “The strong support we have received from our equity partners and lenders for these projects is testament to the readiness of the private sector to invest in Australia‘s energy transformation. Certainty on energy policy, including the implementation of the recommendations of the Finkel Review, will enable more projects of this kind to go ahead and help place downward pressure on energy prices by increasing supply.”
Coopers Gap is a landmark project for GE, marking not only the largest wind project in Australia but also GE’s first project in the north-east state of Queensland, and the second major renewables project signed between GE and AGL this year.
“We are proud to be working with AGL to support Australia’s transition to a cleaner, modern energy system,” added Geoff Culbert, President & CEO, GE Australia, New Zealand & Papua New Guinea. “AGL’s commitment to a lower emissions future is clear. The company announced earlier this year it would ramp up investment in renewable energy and decarbonise its generation by 2050. This wind farm represents a significant step towards that goal and we are proud to be a part of that.”
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