A NEW wind farm at Murra Warra is set to become the biggest in the southern hemisphere after a new investment from businesses, including Telstra.
The farm, which is owned by RES Australia and Macquarie Capital, will generate enough energy to power the equivalent of more than 220,000 homes.
ANZ, Coca-Cola Amatil, Telstra and the University of Melbourne have signed onto the project, securing long-term supply for the farm, meaning it can now start construction.
RES Australia chief executive Matt Rebbeck said the businesses’ involvement was critical for the project, which would be an important addition to Australia’s renewable energy supply.
“We are very proud of Murra Warra which is a fantastic project with a high level of community support,” he said.
“Telstra has co-ordinated another landmark deal, which underwrites the first stage of this wind farm.
“This will bring investment and create a real job boost for regional Victoria.”
Telstra Energy strategy and commercial general manager James Gerraty said the Murra Warra wind farm was in a great location.
“It has good transport access and its proximity to electricity infrastructure means it lends itself to a efficient construction phase,” he said.
“This project will be pretty big for the region – it’s going to be the biggest wind farm in the southern hemisphere, so we are building something that takes a fair bit of work.
“It will create 150 direct jobs during construction and then about eight jobs during operation of the farm.”
Mr Gerraty said this was the second time Telstra had partnered with a renewable energy project.
He said the company was also working with RES Australia on the Emerald solar farm in Queensland.
Mr Gerraty said the transition to a lower carbon economy was something many Australians were now focused on.
“It’s great to be able to do that in a way that is financially sensible,” he said.
“We’re really pleased to work with other syndicate members – by bringing together a few businesses, we can support a bigger project..
“We are happy to support this project because the more supply of energy we can put into the market, the more prices can come down for all energy consumers.”
Construction on the farm will start next year.