13/01/2011 - 00:00

Verve, Macquarie team up for wind farm

13/01/2011 - 00:00

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VERVE Energy is developing a $150 million wind farm near Geraldton with a private partner.

Verve, Macquarie team up for wind farm

VERVE Energy is developing a $150 million wind farm near Geraldton with a private partner.

The Mumbida wind farm, a joint venture between Verve and Macquarie Capital, will have a capacity of 55 megawatts, powered by 22 wind turbines with the potential for expansion.

That capacity is enough to power 35,000 homes and displace 165,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

It’s a rare foray into private partnerships for Verve, particularly in the renewable energy sector.

The government company previously contracted Transfield Services to construct the Kemerton gas-fired power station, and has entered into a joint venture with Inalco Energy to complete the refurbishment of the coal-fired Muja power station.

Mumbida is currently awaiting a generation licence and has applied to the Economic Regulation Authority for approval, with a verdict due by early March.

If all the conditions including the generating licence, finance and network access are approved, the wind farm could be operating by the end of 2012.

The Mumbida site is near Walkaway, the location of the state’s largest wind farm.

Walkaway wind farm, owned by Infigen Energy, is 25 kilometres south of Geraldton; its 54 turbines generate 90MW of power at full capacity.

Walkaway is soon to be eclipsed as the state’s largest wind farm by Merredin’s Collgar wind project, set to be complete by April 2012.

Collgar is a joint venture between UBS International Infrastructure Fund and the Retail Employees Superannuation Trust.

Once completed, Collgar’s 111 turbines will generate 206MW of power at full capacity.

One of the state’s other major wind farms is Emu Downs, located 30km east of Cervantes.

Owned by Griffin Energy and Queensland’s Stanwell Corporation, it is has an 80MW capacity and 48 turbines, enough to power 50,000 homes per year.

Verve has three other renewable energy projects under way – including a 14MW extension to the Albany wind farm.

Called the ‘Grasmere wind farm’, six new turbines will be added to the existing wind farm, adding 14MW of power.

In combination with the existing output, that’s enough to supply 80 per cent of Albany’s energy needs.

Verve is also investigating a potential site near Augusta to house a 55MW wind farm.

Verve has had plans for the Milyeannup site, 20km east of Augusta, since 2003 due to its good road access, proximity to high-voltage power lines and wind resource.

 

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