Nov 30 2022
Victoria’s Biggest Wind Farm Reaches Financial Close – Construction begins on $2bn 756MW Stage One of 1,300MW mega-project
Construction is set to commence on Victoria’s largest approved wind farm after Stage One of the Golden Plains Wind Farm 1,300MW mega-project in Rokewood near Geelong reached financial close.
With all agreements now in place, building the $2bn, 756MW Stage One development featuring 122 turbines will begin early in 2023, with the project expected to start producing green energy in the first quarter of 2025.
TagEnergy has entered an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract with global turbine supplier Vestas, appointed AusNet Services to undertake the grid connection works on a build, own and operate model, and entered a grid connection agreement with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).
It has also secured non-recourse finance from a lenders group comprising Australia’s green bank, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac, Denmark’s EKF, Germany’s KfW IPEX-Bank, Japan’s Mizuho Bank and Bank of China.
TagEnergy is the sole investor in Stage One, with Westwind contracted for 30 years to manage the wind farm, compliance with all permits and community engagement. TagEnergy and Westwind continue to develop the 500MW+ Stage Two and the 300MW battery at Golden Plains.
TagEnergy CEO Franck Woitiez said achieving financial close without the need for power purchase agreements (PPAs) proved the effectiveness of the company’s innovative investment approach in a rapidly growing renewable energy industry as the world races to net zero carbon emissions.
“The broad acceptance of our unusual and more commercial investment model by major participants and financiers reflects a fast-maturing industry embracing inventive approaches helping speed both project timelines and the transition to clean energy,” Woitiez said.
“TagEnergy is proud to bring our expertise in large scale developments to drive this crucial project. Financial close for Stage One is a major milestone for the Golden Plains Wind Farm and our commitment to the Australian market as we work with our partners to help realise Victoria’s and Australia’s renewable energy ambitions.”
WestWind Energy Managing Director Tobias Geiger said: “This is a landmark moment after 15 years’ development, extensive planning and consultation, meeting the highest level of environmental scrutiny, and forging community partnerships to bring the project to fruition.”
“We look forward to not only helping deliver clean energy to the people of Victoria but continuing to ensure the local community shares in the project benefits too,” Mr Geiger said.
Following the appointment of Vestas as the project’s preferred EPC contractor earlier this year, Stage One will feature 122 Vestas V162-6.2MW™ wind turbines from its industry-leading EnVentus™ platform.
An early works agreement with Vestas has already enabled the finalisation of detailed design work, procurement of critical infrastructure, and additional road upgrades in the district to support construction of the wind farm and improve travel for the local community.
Senior Vice President and Country Head Vestas Australia and New Zealand, Danny Nielsen, said: “As the largest manufacturer, installer and maintenance provider of wind energy technology both globally and in Australia, we are proud to work with TagEnergy and Westwind on Stage One of this major project that represents Vestas’s single biggest deal for an on-shore wind farm in Asia Pacific.”
“We are equally delighted that our ongoing participation will continue to bring vital economic and employment benefits to the region,” Mr Nielsen 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. The project will also feature a 300MW battery storage facility that will add flexibility and stability to the grid.
The high voltage 500kV power line that runs through the southern section of the site allows for direct access to the energy grid, removing the need for additional above-ground power lines beyond the project boundaries.
TagEnergy is a clean energy enterprise creating competitive clean power stations to accelerate the energy transition and help the world reach net-zero carbon emissions sooner.
Since its formation in 2019, TagEnergy has assembled a portfolio of more than 3GW based on solar, wind and battery storage technologies in the UK, Portugal, Spain, France and Australia. Its first renewable energy project to go online, Hawkers Hill Energy Park battery storage facility in the UK, began operating in 2022.
TagEnergy is controlled by the Impala SAS Group, supported by major investors Mirova and Omnes, and is operated by a team of entrepreneurs, all shareholders. Its operations span the renewables value chain, from development, financing, construction and asset management, to commercialisation of its competitive energy.