The construction of the Hornsdale Wind Farm in the mid-north of South Australia is expected to begin in the next few months, creating up to 250 local jobs. French renewable energy firm Neoen is investing $250 million in the 100 turbine development at Jamestown, 200km north of Adelaide, with Siemens to supply and erect 32 wind turbines with a capacity of 100MW. The project will produce enough power to supply around 60,000 homes, around 20 per cent of the power needs of the ACT.
The development is underpinned by a 20-year contract to sell power to the ACT and will bring the Territory closer to realising its target of having 90 per cent of its electricity supplied by renewable sources by 2020. Neoen bought the development from investment bank Investec last year. Former Invesetec renewable energy executive Mark Schneider is also involved through his start-up Megawatt Capital.
The project and its stakeholders will join with the Canberra Institute of Technology to establish the CIT Renewable Energy Skills Centre of Excellence, which will entrench the ACT as the centre for wind energy trade skills for Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. The Centre of Excellence will take an important place in the growing ACT renewable energy industry cluster and reinforce Canberra’s position as the Renewable Energy Capital of Australia.