Hydroponic glasshouse farmer Nectar Farms will power a 40-hectare farm solely on wind energy with storage backup.
A 196 megawatt wind farm will provide 100 per cent of the farm’s energy needs, and will be backed up with 20MW of storage to provide a secure supply of electricity at a price lower than grid derived electricity or gas.
“It shows that renewable energy is the power of choice for business in Victoria,” Environment Victoria campaigns manager Nick Aberle said.
“Without renewable energy this project would have been impossible. The wind farm and storage will provide low-cost, reliable energy while creating much-needed regional jobs.”
It is estimated the farm expansion will create 250 ongoing jobs and 300 direct and indirect construction jobs, while the 56-turbine $350 million wind farm will create 19 ongoing jobs, and 800 direct and indirect construction jobs.
The total project value is estimated at $565 million, with total jobs at 1300.
Victorian energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio joined Premier Daniel Andrews on Tuesday joined to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the project.
“It’s an exciting proposal that shows how renewable energy can unlock opportunities for large, energy intensive businesses, to create jobs and build a better future for regional communities,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
Mr Aberle said the project showed that the country could be powered by sun, wind and batteries, however government support was crucial.
“We’re pleased to see that the Andrews government continues to lead the way by backing the projects that are creating the clean energy of the future,” he said.
“Policy paralysis in Canberra has been toxic for renewable energy projects in Australia. Unfortunately, Malcolm Turnbull still won’t make clear whether he will, or can, resolve this uncertainty.”