Works on the $110 million final stage of Portland’s wind energy project will start early next year.
Pacific Hydro yesterday announced it had finalised a significant purchase agreement for the Cape Sir William Grant and Cape Nelson wind farms.
While works for the Cape Bridgewater stage continue, the commitment means the total $330 million project will be finalised by 2009.
The future of the third and final stage was in doubt before last year’s state election.
The Liberal Party opposed a renewable energy target promoting cleaner sources of power.
Pacific Hydro’s Andrew Richards yesterday said Labor’s strategy to deliver 10 per cent of the state’s energy from renewable sources by 2016, had been crucial.
“Without the Victorian target, we would not be able to commit this level of investment,” he said. “This demonstrates the important economic and environmental benefits that renewable energy targets deliver.”
Works for the contentious Cape Bridgewater project are on schedule, with the first of its 29 wind towers to go in later this year.
The majority of access roads and wind tower foundations have been completed.
Work at the substation beside Portland Aluminium is continuing.
Mr Richards said the 195-megawatt project, which included Yambuk, would produce enough electricity for about 125,000 homes.
It would also avoid about 920,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas each year.
When approved in 2002, the Portland wind energy project was the biggest in the southern hemisphere.
The Cape Bridgewater site caused much controversy because of fears its natural beauty would be destroyed by the turbines.
By Shane Fowles
16 August 2007
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