The Victorian Labor government has committed to two new wind farms as part of its efforts to provide 25% of its electricity needs from renewables by 2020, and 40% by 2025.

The 30MW Kiata Wind Farm will be built by Australian company Windlab near Horsham in western Victoria. The developer expects enough output to power 20,000 homes.

Spanish group Acciona Energy has plans for a 132MW wind farm at Mount Gellibrand, about 25km east of Colac on Victoria’s Western Plains, which it expects will have capacity to power 100,000 homes.

Clean Energy Council policy manager Alicia Webb said the two successful wind farm tender bids marked the beginning of a shift towards renewable energy in Victoria.

“The Victorian government has committed to new state renewable energy targets of 25% by 2020 and 40% by 2025, and there will be a lot of activity out to the end of the decade and beyond to ensure their successful delivery,” Webb said.

“I would like to congratulate the Clean Energy Council’s members Windlab and Acciona for their success in this process, and I am looking forward to seeing the Kiata and Mt Gellibrand Wind Farms up and running by 2018.”
Using reverse auctions to support renewable energy has been successfully pioneered by the ACT government, she said. Under a reverse auction, renewable energy companies offer bids to supply clean electricity, “and the lowest price wins”.

“Disasters like the Hazelwood mine fire are a clear demonstration that we need to do things differently. The world is moving towards renewable energy, and the Victorian Government should be congratulated for leading positive change,” she said.

“This wind farm support is important, because it will help to continue the return of investment stability to the industry after several rough years during the review of the national Renewable Energy Target.”

To meet its target Victoria needs 5,400MW of new large-scale wind and solar farms in nine years.