The largest wind project in the Southern Hemisphere – Golden Plains – has reached a pair of milestones including securing TagEnergy as equity investor and Vestas,  a Danish manufacturer of wind turbines to deliver engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) for the project.

Located near the Victorian city of Geelong, the $3 billion Golden Plains project will see the development of 122 of Vestas’s V162-6.2 MWTM wind turbines as part of stage-one works and will feature a 300MW battery storage facility that will add flexibility and stability to the grid.

The two-stage project is set to generate more than 700 direct jobs – double the area’s current population – with construction to get underway by June 2022 and the first electrons fed into the grid in 2024.

The high voltage 500kv powerline which runs directly adjacent to the southern boundary of the site allows for direct access to the energy grid, removing the need for additional power lines beyond the boundaries of the project.

TagEnergy, part of the Jacques Veyrat-owned Impala SAS group, is headed by Frank Woitiez – the former head of Neoen Australia, a French renewable energy power producer.

The Woitiez-backed company has developed a portfolio of 2GW of storage, solar and wind projects in the UK, Australia, Spain, Portugal, and France.


Project to produce 8pc of Victoria’s energy demand

WestWind Energy managing director Tobias Geiger said the company is excited to work with TagEnergy and Vistas to deliver the project.

“With an installed capacity of more than 1,300MW, the Golden Plains Wind Farm’s 215 turbines will be capable of producing more than 4,500 GWh of energy annually, around 8% of Victoria’s energy demand,” he said.

Once complete, the Golden Plains Wind Farm will be Australia’s largest, providing sustainable energy for more than 750,000 homes – the equivalent of every home in regional Victoria.

It will also prevent more than four and a half million tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted to the atmosphere annually – equivalent to 3% of Victoria’s total greenhouse emissions.

Golden Plains Wind Farm has been in partnership with the community of Rokewood, about 69km from Geelong, and districts for more than 15 years starting with initial discussions in the shearing shed with local farmers.


Three other wind farms

The establishment of WestWind Energy took shape in 2003.

At the invitation of the Victorian and Federal Governments, the potential for establishing a new business in Australia was investigated and WestWind Energy Pty Ltd was established in Victoria back in 2004.

Since this time, WestWind Energy has gained planning permits and sold three wind farms in Victoria – the Mount Mercer Wind Farm, the Lal Lal Wind Farm and the Moorabool Wind Farm.