A German-based wind farm manufacturing company has submitted a $1.7 billion proposal to Victoria's Golden Plains Shire for the southern hemisphere's biggest sustainability project.
Through their Australian arm, WestWind Energy, the international WestWind Group have proposed to develop the Golden Plains Wind Farm, which was designed for up to 235 wind turbines across an area of 17,345 hectares.
Located across large tracts of land around Rokewood, the Golden Plains wind farm would help to power over 500,000 homes and save on more than three million tons of carbon dioxide a year. The entire project was estimated to cost up to $1.7 billion.
The wind farm will have a total capacity of approximately 800 MWs and produce approximately 2,500 GWH of electricity each year. The operational life of the wind farm is anticipated to be 25 years.
According to the Australian Financial Review, some 39 landholders around Rokewood, south of Ballarat, can expect to earn at least $3.5 million in annual income combined for hosting the turbines.
In 2006, WestWind began monitoring the wind resource in the Golden Plains Shire, specifically around the Barunah Park and Rokewood area. In 2016, WestWind completed further feasibility investigations into the proposed development site and made the commercial decision to pursue a planning permit for an 800 MW project.
Progress on the Golden Plains Wind Farm comes as the renewable energy sector booms, buoyed by the introduction of a energy target of 40 per cent by 2025 by the Labor Andrews Government.
The rising cost of traditional energy allowed the project to stack up for WestWind, with predictions Victoria will usurp South Australia as the country’s leading host of turbines within the next five years.