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Origin Energy And Acciona To Deliver Green Energy For Victoria With Australia's Largest Wind Farm

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

20 OCTOBER 2008 - Origin Energy and ACCIONA Energy today announced a long-term power purchase agreement that will see Origin play a key role in the commercialisation of Australia's largest wind farm at Waubra in western Victoria.

The Waubra Wind Farm is owned and being built by ACCIONA Energy, a world leader in the renewable energy sector and will generate 192 megawatts (MW) - enough green energy to provide for 143,000 households each year.

Origin Chief Operating Officer, Karen Moses said the agreement with ACCIONA Energy was support for the transition to a lower-emissions economy.

"Wind energy is currently one of the most cost-effective and fastest-growing sources of renewable energy in the world, each megawatt hour (MWh) of wind energy generated avoids producing one tonne of greenhouse gas emissions*," said Ms Moses.

"This agreement demonstrates Origin's commitment to supporting a broad range of renewable energy sources to help reach our renewable energy targets."

Under the agreement, Origin will be supplied with renewable energy and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to support its mandatory obligations under the Government's Renewable Energy Target.

Origin's purchase of the output from the Waubra Wind Farm will help to meet growing customer demand for GreenPower. Origin has the largest number of green customers in Australia, with more than 423,000 accredited GreenPower and GreenGas accounts.

ACCIONA Energy Oceania Managing Director, Brett Thomas said the Waubra Wind Farm, 35km north-west of Ballarat, would generate more than enough green energy to power the city of Ballarat and avoid up to 635,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year.

Mr Thomas said, "We are committed to renewable energy as part of a sustainable future. ACCIONA has a significant portfolio of wind energy projects in development in Australia, to complement Waubra and our existing facility at Cathedral Rocks in South Australia. In addition, we are planning to build a large scale solar thermal plant in Australia, similar to the landmark 64MW Nevada Solar One plant built by ACCIONA recently in the United States. Our agreement with Origin demonstrates that large scale renewable projects are viable and can be delivered to meet Australia's growing energy needs while reducing greenhouse emissions."

"In delivering green energy, Victoria is directly benefiting from regional development and job creation because ACCIONA Energy is committed to using local construction and manufacturing skills and sourcing local materials," he added.

During the past decade, Origin has been investing in gas-fired generation, renewable generation and research and development into new technologies including solar and geothermal to support a low carbon future for Australia.

Mr Thomas said that working with Origin demonstrated the technical and economic viability of a sustainable energy model.

"It also supports ACCIONA Energy's investment in the development and management of sustainable infrastructures, services and renewable energies, including small hydro, biomass, solar and thermal energy and the marketing of biofuels," he said.

Construction of the Waubra Wind Farm is currently underway, with plans to complete the installation of the 128 ACCIONA Windpower 1.5 MW wind turbines by the end of this year and commissioning expected mid-2009.

ACCIONA Energy is a major international wind energy developer and has a large Australian wind pipeline. The company has installed 5,400 MW in wind energy in 13 countries; it has 1,000 MW under construction and several thousands more under development. ACCIONA Energy also has an important presence in seven other renewable technologies: concentrating solar power, photovoltaic solar, biomass, thermal solar, small hydro and biofuels (biodiesel and bioethanol).

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