ENGIE Australia & New Zealand (ANZ) has announced the acquisition of the 420 MW Hills of Gold Wind Farm, a A$750 million ($528 million) facility from Wind Energy Partners. Located near Nundle, New South Wales (NSW), Australia, Hills of Gold Wind Farm is currently progressing through the planning process.
ENGIE ANZ will be responsible for the development and operations of the wind facility. After obtaining all the approvals, ENGIE ANZ intends to begin construction work at the site by early 2022. The wind facility will be equipped with 70 wind turbines, each with a generating capacity of up to 6 MW per unit. And a 33kV/330kV onsite substation connecting to the existing 330kV TransGrid Liddell to Tamworth overhead transmission line network via a dedicated transmission line from the wind farm will also be developed.
ENGIE ANZ’s General Manager of Asset Development, Andrew Kerley, said the Hills of Gold Wind Farm would be built with the backing of ENGIE’s local and global expertise in renewable energy. “The Hills of Gold Wind Farm is a quality project that adds renewable energy to the national grid, while also creating local economic activity during construction and operation of the 25-year lifespan of the asset. We’re looking forward to the opportunity of building the Hills of Gold Wind Farm and to working with the local community to unlock the benefits of renewable energy development,” he added.
The project will be at the heart of what is set to be one of Australia’s first renewable energy zones, planned by the NSW government for the New England region, and is set to create more than 215 direct jobs during the construction phase, and 30 ongoing roles once in operation. Besides creating employment opportunities, the project is estimated to bring A$370 million ($260 million) of economic activity in the region during the construction phase.
REGlobal’s Views: This is Engie’s second such project in Australia, indicating the company’s growing interest in the market. In fact, it is the latest among several multinational energy companies that have made a push into the Australian clean energy space, as they work to pivot away from businesses built on traditional fossil fuel projects.