SWITZERLAND-based equity firm Partners Group has invested more than $200 million to acquire and continue construction of the first stage of Murra Warra Wind Farm.
The 226MW wind farm was acquired from project developers Renewable Energy Systems and Macquarie Capital.
RES will work alongside Partners Group to provide ongoing services to support the project.
Construction of stage one is currently being undertaken by Senvion and Downer. Tower embeds for wind turbines started to be installed at the construction site last month.
RES chief executive Matt Rebbeck said the farm would inject more than $40 million into the local economy, while a local benefit fund would be established post completion to support local community organisations.
“Murra Warra is a world class project which will be one of the highest performing wind farms in the southern hemisphere,” he said.
“The strong community relationships established throughout the development of this project continue to flourish as we engage with the local community during construction and operation.”
Macquarie Capital Auatralia and New Zealand Infrastructure, Utilities and Renewables head Ivan Varughese said more investors were looking at investments into clean energy projects.
“Murra Warra is an important greenfield energy project which will deliver energy security and regional employment opportunities and we are confident that Murra Warra stage one stakeholders will benefit from the stewardship of Partners Group,” he said.
“Macquarie and RES remain committed to the successful development of Murra Warra’s second stage.”
Partners Group Asia-Pacific Private Infrastructure co-head Benjamin Haan said financing of Murra Warra was a step towards the company investing in more clean energy options.
"We continue to believe the Australian renewable energy sector is benefiting from a transformative trend, with a significant amount of coal-fired generation retirements expected in the coming decade,” he said.
“The project brings additional scale and diversification to our portfolio and is one of the highest-quality wind resource sites in Australia's National Electricity Market."
Construction of stage one started in March comprising of 61 turbines. The second stage of the project will include an extra 55 turbines, as well as a solar farm and energy storage project at Murra Warra.
About 150 jobs are expected to be created during its construction, with a further eight operational jobs created during the first phase.
The farm will produce about 429 megawatts of power once fully operational and eliminate about 900,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
Once completed, the first stage of the farm will supply enough energy to power 220,000 homes.
Companies such as Telstra, Coca-Cola Amatil, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, the University of Melbourne and Monash University have already entered into long-term power purchase agreements.
In June 2015, Partners Group invested into the development of the 240MW Ararat Wind Farm, which started supplying clean energy to the Australian national grid in mid-2017.
Murra Warra Wind Farm is expected to be completed and operational by mid-2019.