Mortlake Wind Farm transmission lines go underground

The sod turning at Mortlake South Wind Farm was attended by Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

Work is underway to build Victoria’s latest wind farm, including a Victorian-first underground transmission line which could set new best-practice for connecting clean energy projects to the national grid.

Acciona has announced its intention to build an underground transmission line for its new 35-turbine Mortlake South Wind Farm, demonstrating its commitment to working closely with communities to deliver tailored local solutions.

The 220 kV transmission line is planned to run approximately 15km from the $275 million Mortlake South Wind Farm to the Terang Terminal Station.

The decision was revealed today at a sod-turning event on site, which was attended by the Hon Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Victoria’s Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change.

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Several details including the exact route are yet to be completed, and approvals still need to be granted by relevant stakeholders.

The proposed route will be finalised based on a range of factors including environmental, cultural heritage and engineering considerations aimed at minimising the impact of the wind farm’s construction and ongoing presence.

Acciona Energy Australia’s managing director Brett Wickham said, “It’s more expensive, but it’s the right thing to do for this project”.

“We examined various options, and of course are fully aware that existing aboveground transmission lines have caused some angst locally. As our approach is to invest in local areas for the long term and work cooperatively with communities, we felt this decision would be the most appropriate local solution for these specific circumstances,” Mr Wickham said.

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“I’d like to thank the local community for their ongoing cooperation, and we will provide more updates as the proposal develops.”

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said, “This wind farm will create local jobs, reduce greenhouse emissions and generate enough electricity to power more than 115,000 homes — boosting energy supply and bringing down prices.”

“Our energy targets have been the catalyst for unprecedented renewable energy investment and jobs growth in regional Victoria.”