Hepburn Wind's two REpower 2.05MW turbines

Wind farms: two steps forward, one step back

Todays news has seen two wind farms getting the go-ahead, and one abandoned by its proponent.

Hepburn Wind's two REpower 2.05MW turbines
Hepburn Wind’s two 2.05MW REpower turbines

Giles Parkinson at Renew Economy reports on the Taralga wind farm in NSW:

CBD Energy said it has signed a power purchase agreement with TRUenergy that will allow construction of the 108MW Taralga wind farm to begin later this year – its first utility scale wind project in Australia.

(. . . )

The $250 million Taralga wind farm – which won approval only after a fierce court battle – had been in doubt about the failure of the AusChina joint venture that CBD Energy signed last year to take the project forward. However, CBD then took on the principal development role to secure the PPA and equity and financing partners. The PPA is a key element in gaining financing, and partners and the EPC contractor are expected to be announced soon.

And on the Mt Mercer project, proponent Meridian energy has announced it will begin construction in December 2012. A contract has been signed with turbine manufacturer REpower to supply the turbines.

Climate Spectator’s Daniel Palmer reports:

Meridian Energy, a state-owned utility across the Tasman, is pushing forward on the oft-delayed 131 MW Mt Mercer wind farm without a power purchase agreement as it sets its sights on building a vertically integrated renewable energy business. Already the company has launched a trial of its online electricity retail offering in Victoria – Powershop – and if it goes well, a national rollout is on the cards.

It is a sign of growing frustration amongst indepedent power producers, who can see the need for new projects to meet the renewable energy target, but have been unable to interest electricity retailers in long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs).

And lastly, the proposed 19-turbine Lexton wind farm in Victoria’s Pyrenees region has been abandoned by its proponent, Origin Energy. The Ballarat Courier reports,

An Origin spokesperson would not say why the project was abandoned, but that the company would focus “on a targeted number of renewable energy projects in Australia, including Stockyard Hill Wind Farm, and internationally”.

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