GE, civil construction firm CATCON and AGL have reached agreement to build the $450 million Silverton Wind Farm in far west NSW. The 200MW facility will be the sixth-largest wind farm in Australia.

The plant is expected to generate about 780,000MWh of energy a year, or enough to power more than 136,000 average Australian homes, and it will connect to the 220kV transmission line that runs from Broken Hill to the interconnector between Buronga, NSW, and Red Cliffs, Victoria.

The wind farm will consist of 58 3.4MW GE turbines, the largest in Australia, with rotors spanning 130 metres (pictured).

The project is expected to be operational by the middle of 2018.

AGL announced it has reached financial close on the sale of the wind farm to the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF), a partnership between AGL, QIC and Future Fund for the development of about 1GW of large-scale renewable energy projects.

The $36 million sale includes AGL writing an offtake agreement with Silverton Wind Farm. AGL’s bundled offtake price will be $65/MWh (real) for the first five years.

“Reaching financial close on the Silverton wind farm is a major milestone for PARF,” said AGL managing director and CEO Andy Vesey. “Silverton is the first new renewable project build offered to the fund, following the sale of AGL’s already developed solar plants at Nyngan and Broken Hill in November 2016.”

Ross Israel, head of global infrastructure at QIC, said: “This is a significant milestone for PARF in the delivery of its project pipeline. It demonstrates our ability to structure a strong, long-term relationship with our strategic partner AGL and our managed client, Future Fund. We are very pleased that in the first six months of establishing PARF there are three major investments in the partnership, including the first greenfield project.”

On behalf of PARF, AGL will develop and manage about 1GW of large-scale renewable energy infrastructure assets and projects, or about one-fifth of the 5GW of new renewable generation capacity required by 2020 to meet the federal government’s Renewable Energy Target.

AGL provided $200 million in equity funding to the PARF. QIC, on behalf of its clients the Future Fund and the QIC Global Infrastructure Fund, provided $800 million.

The renewable energy produced from the wind farm’s 58 turbines will reduce CO2 emissions by 655,000 tonnes annually, which is the equivalent of taking 192,000 cars off the road each year.

The Silverton Wind Farm will be located in the Barrier Ranges of NSW, with its south-western boundary about 5km north of Silverton and 25km north-west of Broken Hill.