Today is a good news day for wind energy in Victoria. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation announced it will provide a $70 million loan to Pacific Hydro to complete the final stage of the Portland Wind Energy Project.
Reporting for the Sydney Morning Herald, Peter Hannam writes:
The $10 billion green investment bank, set to be scrapped by the incoming Coalition government, has issued a loan to Pacific Hydro to build the final stage of its Portland wind farm in what is likely to be among the bank’s final deals.
The project will create hundreds of jobs, increase market competition and provide enough clean energy to power 31,000 homes, according to Pacific Hydro.
The CEFC’s backing of the final stage of the Portland wind energy project is a welcome boost for Victoria’s wind energy sector. It will create jobs in the South West while cleaning up the state’s polluting energy sector. The ambitious Portland Wind Energy Project was approved by the Bracks Labor government and has been over a decade in the making.
Good news stories in the wind energy sector are few and far between since the Baillieu government introduced the world’s most restrictive anti-wind farm laws, which have cost the state jobs, investment, income for farmers and clean energy.
The current planning laws endorsed by Premier Napthine (the local member for the South West Coast) ban wind farms in the windiest parts of the state. These laws make it virtually impossible for multi-stage wind farm developments to be built in Victoria. A mere eight wind turbines have been approved since the Coalition took office. And hundreds of megawatts worth of wind farms have been withdrawn.
Wind energy is the most mature and affordable renewable energy technology. It offers Victorians the most bang-for-buck for addressing climate change. Friends of the Earth urge Premier Napthine to take leadership and restore fair laws for wind farms in Victoria.
For more reporting on the announcement, visit RenewEconomy.