Victoria backs 196-MW wind project as part of agribusiness expansion

Wind turbines. Author: Anne Marie Peterson. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

June 27 (Renewables Now) - The Australian state of Victoria on Tuesday unveiled a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the construction of a 196-MW wind farm with a 20-MW battery and the expansion of a local agribusiness.

The three-way agreement has been signed by French renewable energy company Neoen, Nectar Farms and the Victorian government, Neoen, the developer of the wind farm, said in a separate statement.  

The Bulgana wind farm, which as a result of the deal has been renamed Bulgana Green Power Hub (BGPH), will provide the secure and affordable power needed for Nectar Farms' expansion, according to the announcements.  

The overall project near Stawell is worth AUD 565 million (USD 426m/EUR 381m), including AUD 350 million for BGPH and AUD 215 million for 30 hectares (74 acres) of high-tech glasshouses.

Neoen will partner with Siemens Gamesa on the project that will feature a 20 MW/34 MWh battery to provide baseload equivalent power to Nectar Farms.

The developer said that 100% of BGPH's energy is contracted as the power not consumed by Nectar Farms will go to the Victorian government. The MoU guarantees Nectar Farms 10% of BGPH's energy, while the remaining 90% will be fed to the grid.

Neoen expects to move towards construction in September 2017.

"This project will make Stawell Nectar Farms the world’s first ever protected crop farm completely powered by renewable energy," said Victoria's premier Daniel Andrews.

(AUD 1 = USD 0.755/EUR 0.675)

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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