The first of five newly proposed wind farms for Australia is planned to be operational by 2015 according to the newly formed venture known as OneWind Australia. The combined capacity of the five projects, which are planned to be developed in New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland, could be as much as 1,000 megawatts.
The first of the wind projects that is expected to be completed will be a 100MW wind project at Glen Innes.
OneWind Australia is backed by Denham Capital Management LP which is a private equity fund in the US that is focused on mining and energy. The group has agreed to invest $US75 million in the wind power projects to be developed. They will join other partners Enersis Group’s Australian unit, National Power and Kato Capital Pty to form OneWind.
According to Managing Director Michael Toke the declining cost of wind power in Australia is a factor that the venture intends to take advantage of. The stated renewable energy goal of Australia is to have 20 per cent of the nation’s power originate from renewable energy by 2020.
According to Toke, “Compared with other places in the world, wind is quite competitive in this market. It’s a combination of the competitiveness of wind and the need for new renewables here. There’s an opportunity to generate good returns.”
As well as the project in Glen Innes some of the other projects that are in advanced stages of planning are a 250MW project at Lincoln Gap in South Australia, a 90MW wind project at Archer Point in Queensland and a 240MW development at Cattle Hill in Tasmania. The aim is to achieve financial closing on key phases of the projects in the second half of 2013 or 2014.