From ACCIONA Energy:

ACCIONA Energy has turned the first sod on its Mt Gellibrand wind farm project, which will be able to deliver clean power to more than 60,000 homes from July 2018.

The $258 million project was fast-tracked after ACCIONA Energy won a Victorian Government energy tender last year, which secured the purchase of 66 megawatts of renewable energy certificates generated at Mt Gellibrand. Once completed, the full project will generate 132 megawatts.

Victorian’s Renewable Energy Advocate Simon Corbell, Colac Otway Shire Mayor Chris Potter and CEO Sue Wilkinson, local business representatives and other community members joined the sod turning celebration.

ACCIONA Energy Managing Director Andrew Thomson said the new wind farm would be a massive economic driver for Mt Gellibrand the wider Colac region for the next 25 years.

“The Mt Gellibrand project will create 100 local jobs in the construction phase, with up to 10 new operations and maintenance roles continuing for decades ahead,” Mr Thomson said.

ACCIONA is committed to spreading the economic benefits of the project throughout the region. ACCIONA has already injected around $500,000 into the local economy, and based on current contracts it is predicted that approximately $10 million will be directly spent in the Colac Otway Shire.

“Local content is a feature of our procurement and contracting processes and we are already delighted to be working with local businesses R Slater & Sons, Coragulac Quarries, CCS, Bushys Fencing, Colac Cleaning Services, Hip Pocket Workwear, Baronga

Motor Inn and Driscoll Engineering Services as well as Portland’s Keppell Prince,” Mr Thomson said.

Mt Gellibrand wind farm will create a long-term, consistent stream of drought-proof revenue for host landholders. ACCIONA will also establish a Community Benefit Fund that will support local groups, sporting organisations and students through grants and scholarships.

“Most importantly, the project will generate enough clean, renewable energy to power more than 60,000 households. We expect to see clean energy from Mt Gellibrand to be pouring into the grid in about 15 months at a time when the nation is seeking to increase its capacity for power generation,” Mr Thomson said.

Following its entry into service, Mt Gellibrand will produce about 429 gigawatt-hours a year, avoiding the emission of some 412,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

ACCIONA Energy is a global operator in renewable energies with over 20 years’ experience in the sector. It owns and operates 220 wind farms totaling 7,260 MW; 79 hydro plants (888 MW); 6 CSP plants (314 MW); photovoltaic plants totaling 389 MWp and three biomass plants (61 MW). The company develops projects for customers in wind and photovoltaic power, and markets power to large customers.

ACCIONA Energy now has 302.5 MW of wind power capacity operational in Australia, in three wind farms: Cathedral Rocks (64 MW, South Australia), Waubra (192 MW, Victoria) and Gunning (46.5 MW, New South Wales). This means that the country is now the fourth most significant in terms of wind power implementation by ACCIONA after Spain, the USA and Mexico.

Together with the development of its own installations, in 2014 the company put a 20- megawatt rated power (24 MWp) photovoltaic plant into service in the Australian Capital Territory.

ACCIONA Energy currently has wind power and photovoltaic projects under development in Australia that it expects to materialize in the near future.

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