Posted on 13. Aug, 2010 in Greening Victoria

The largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere worth $1 billion will be built in Victoria’s west over the next three years.

Premier John Brumby, Federal Climate Change Minister Penny Wong and Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources Peter Batchelor, have  marked the final signing of contracts for the Macarthur Wind Farm.

Mr Brumby said the Macarthur Wind Farm would be the biggest of its type in the southern hemisphere and among the largest in the world.

“This $1 billion project will help cut emissions, create new jobs and provide clean energy for Victorians,” Mr Brumby said.

“The wind farm will provide clean power for more than 220,000 homes and about 400 direct jobs at the peak of construction.

“In addition, the project is also expected to create about 800 indirect jobs, as well as ongoing employment for about 30 full time staff for the 25 year life of the wind farm.”

Mr Brumby said in the Victorian Climate Change White Paper the Government had committed to a nation leading target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 per cent by 2020.

“To meet that target, we are supporting and investing in wind and other renewable energy sources,” he said.

“Attracting a renewable project of this scale to Victoria is yet another example of how Victoria is leading the way towards a clean energy future. By supporting new investment in renewable energy we are cutting emissions and creating a climate of opportunities for Victorians.”

The Macarthur Wind Farm project is a joint venture between AGL – Australia’s leading renewable energy developer and Meridian Energy – New Zealand’s largest power generator. It will be developed between the towns of Macarthur, Hawkesdale and Penshurst within the Shire of Moyne and is due for completion in 2013.

Minister for Energy and Resources Peter Batchelor said the wind farm would have 140 turbines with a total capacity of 420 MW.

“Achieving Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions target will require a transformation in the way we generate and use electricity and projects such as this one will play a significant role in driving that transformation,” Mr Batchelor said.

“The operational energy use of Victoria’s desalination plant is to be fully offset through the purchase of renewable energy which enables projects like the Macarthur Wind Farm to go ahead.

“The Macarthur Wind Farm will also provide a significant boost for the towns surrounding it with the project expected to inject about $245 million into local communities during construction. The project will also provide ongoing income for local landholders that will have turbines erected on their land as part of this project.

“I am also pleased to note that AGL and Meridian will jointly establish a $100,000 Macarthur Wind Farm Community Fund to enable the broader community near the wind farm to participate in the benefits the project will bring.”

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