Willatook Wind Farm Project is a proposed wind farm and battery storage facility, owned by Wind Prospect. The Project is located in the Moyne Shire in south-western Victoria, about 20km north of Port Fairy, with neighbouring townships of Orford, Hawkesdale, Macarthur and Koroit.
The project site consists of undulating plains covering more than 4,000 hectares used primarily for sheep and cattle grazing. Native vegetation within the project site is mostly restricted to scattered fragments along roadside reserves and watercourses.
The project is located within the South West Renewable Energy Zone established by the Victorian State Government. This renewable zone is centred on the existing Moorabool to Heywood 500 kilovolt transmission line, which passes through the project site.
Wind Prospect has prepared the Environment Effects Statement (EES) and planning permit applications for the project. These were placed on public exhibition in July - see website. The next phase of the planning process will be the formation of an independent inquiry appointed to consider and report on the environmental effects of the proposal through a public hearing (expected to commence in mid-October). Following conclusion of the hearing, the Inquiry will submit its report to the Minister to inform the Minister’s assessment for the project.
ENGIE is interested in the Willatook Wind Farm and is supporting Wind Prospect to progress the project to the next stages of development, with a view to acquiring the project. The project aligns with ENGIE’s global strategy of accelerating the transition to a carbon-neutral economy. Should ENGIE acquire the Willatook Wind Farm, it would add up to 350MW of renewable energy capacity to our Australian portfolio.
- Up to 59 wind turbines, each with a maximum blade height of 250 metres
- Nominal capacity of 350 MW supplying more than 1,300 GWh of renewable energy per year
- A battery energy storage system of 200MW/400MWh
- The project is located close to the 500kV Heywood- Moorabool transmission line and the existing Tarrone Terminal Station.
- Estimated $800m capital expenditure with $120m retained within the region through wages, contracts and other services.
- Ongoing economic stimulus predicted at $158 million over the 25-year life of the project, through Council rates, landowner and neighbour payments, local wages and community sponsorship programs.
- Up to 180 direct and 290 indirect full time jobs during construction and 12 direct and 35 indirect jobs ongoing throughout the 25 years of operation.
- Neighbour Benefit Sharing Program to ensure financial benefits are shared with those closest to the project, with all neighbours within 6km eligible for financial support once the project is approved and construction commences.
- Community Benefit Fund of up to $59,000 per year (based on $1,000 per turbine) would be established.
- Upgrades to local roads and intersections, as required for the delivery, installation and maintenance of turbine components and other associated materials and structures.