The Macarthur project is a wind farm being constructed in Western Victoria Australia, 245km west of Melbourne.
The wind farm will have 140 turbines and generate up to 420 megawatts, producing enough electricity each year for about 220,000 average homes in Victoria.
The Macarthur project is a joint 50/50 venture between Meridian and AGL to build what will be the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest wind farm. The final build cost will be around A$1 billion and is due for completion in 2013. Meridian funded its debt portion of the investment with an award-winning project finance agreement.
The wind farm will have 140 Vestas wind turbine generators and is being constructed by a Vestas/Leighton consortium. The wind farm is situated near Hamilton, 245 kilometres west of Melbourne, in the Shire of Moyne.
The joint venture between AGL and Meridian brings together the experience of the largest renewable developers in Australia and New Zealand. Up to 350 people will be directly employed during construction.
Once operational, the wind farm will have the capacity to power more than 220,000 average homes in Victoria and abate more than 1.7 million tonnes of greenhouse gases every year - the equivalent of taking more than 420,000 cars off the road.
Australia’s 2020 Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme will require around 9,500 MW of new renewable generation capacity to be built this decade. The Macarthur project will make a substantial contribution to Australian retailers meeting their commitments under the RET scheme.
The first power from the Macarthur wind farm has been generated and is now flowing to the Victorian state grid.
This milestone comes after almost two years of construction work at the wind farm.
The whole wind farm of 140 Vestas 3MW turbines is due to be completed in early 2013.
Wind generation currently has a substantial cost advantage over other grid scale renewable technologies being deployed in Australia.
The Macarthur site has a productive wind regime, with construction on near-flat pastoral farm land, and good proximity to a 500 kV transmission line for connection to the state grid.
The project also has good road access to the port at Portland where most of the wind farm’s imported heavy equipment is being landed, and where many of the wind turbine tower sections are being manufactured.
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