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Bright spot for wind farms amid RET gloom
by Staff Writers
Canberra, Australia (SPX) Feb 13, 2015

File image: Ararat Wind Farm.

The announcement from the ACT Government that three new wind farms will be built thanks to its wind energy reverse auction was a bright spot for the large-scale renewable energy sector following a year when investment dropped off the face of a cliff, the clean energy industry peak body said today.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said new wind projects completely dried up in 2014 due to the uncertainty created by the Federal Government's review of the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

"The three winners of the ACT Government's wind energy reverse auction are some of the first new wind projects to be announced since the Federal Government commenced its RET review almost a year ago," Mr Thornton said.

"The RET review has frozen renewable energy investment, put more than 21,000 jobs in jeopardy and hung $10 billion in existing large-scale investment out to dry.

"In this environment of uncertainty, state and territory governments have the opportunity to step up to the plate and back renewable energy, and the ACT Government is leading the way by driving investment in new wind projects."

Mr Thornton congratulated the three project proponents, all of which are members of the Clean Energy Council.

"Congratulations to RES Australia, Windlab and Neoen on being the successful bidders in the ACT Government process.

"It's great to see that Windlab in particular, which is based in Canberra, is projected to grow its headquarters and spend more than $240 million on staff and related costs over the next 20 years - that's a great investment in highly skilled local talent," he said.

The three successful projects were:

+ The Ararat Wind Farm, an 80.5 megawatt wind farm developed by RES Australia west of Ballarat, Victoria

+ The Coonooer Bridge Wind Farm, a 19.4 megawatt wind farm developed by Canberra company Windlab Limited west of Bendigo, Victoria

+ The Hornsdale Wind Farm, a 100 megawatt wind farm developed by Neoen south-east of Port Augusta in South Australia

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