The Shire of Coorow has welcomed the WA state government’s announcement that it has given the go-ahead for construction to begin on the 180MW Warradarge Wind Farm, near Eneabba.
According to energy minister Bill Johnston, the Warradarge Wind Farm has been recognised as one of the best renewable energy projects in Australia due to its location and abundant wind resource.
Its 51 turbines will be among the largest in the state, with a tip height of 152m, sporting some of the longest blades onshore at 66m.
“Any investment into the region was welcome, especially if it would create local jobs and boost tourism,” said Moira Girando, Coorow Shire president.
“The Shire had a declining population and she hoped that the renewable energy industry could create more employment in the area to help control that.”
The Shire also has a long-term (10-year) plan to install solar panels on all council run buildings, staging it so as not to be a burden on ratepayers.
The Warradarge Wind Farm project will be funded and developed by Bright Energy Investments (BEI) – a partnership between Synergy and the private sector launched by the state government in April. The sustainable energy solutions company Vestas has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract, as well as operations and maintenance contracts.
“I’m delighted to announce the construction of the Warradarge Wind Farm will be going ahead and will create up to 200 jobs for Western Australians,” Johnston said.
“The wind farm will have a total output of 180MW with a 50 per cent capacity factor – the equivalent of the average annual electricity needs of 135,000 WA homes.
“The state government remains committed to ensuring a transition to a renewable energy future at the lowest cost possible to WA taxpayers.
“By developing renewables projects, we are demonstrating our commitment to ensuring our state meets its 2020 Large-scale Renewable Energy Target obligations.”
Western Power will construct the 10km transmission line from the wind farm sub-station to the network connection point near Eneabba.
“We are extremely pleased to work with BEI on this project. It has extraordinary wind conditions and will make an important contribution to powering WA with competitive renewable energy,” said Clive Turon, Vestas Asia Pacific president.
“After the Warradarge Wind Farm comes online, Vestas will have an installed base of 561MW in WA, expanding our service footprint and capability to support future projects in the state.”
BEI general manager Tom Frood was confident that the Warradarge Wind Farm would be delivered smoothly and on-schedule.
“Synergy has a strong history in WA solar and wind assets and is committed to increasing its renewable energy portfolio, and Vestas’ rich industry expertise and proven track record will ensure that the first power generation is on track for 2020,” Frood continued.
Commercial operations at Warradarge Wind Farm are scheduled to commence in the third quarter of 2020.