RES, the world’s largest independent renewable energy company, has secured planning permission for the 51-turbine Twin Creek Wind Farm and battery storage facility, 90km to the north of Adelaide. Following development consents for the 200MW Avonlie Solar Project in New South Wales in August and the 176MW Pallamana Solar Farm in South Australia in July, this sees RES surpass 2GW of permitted wind and solar projects in Australia.
In addition, RES’ pipeline of third-party construction services and asset management contracts continues to grow to support the large number of renewable and solar projects across the country entering long term operation, with more than over 750MW under management to date.
Renewable energy continues to see encouraging growth in Australia, but to ensure investor confidence and sustain this expansion, increasingly advanced development and asset management approaches are called for. Ongoing success will be dependent on the ability of renewable energy firms to navigate development challenges such as grid connection hurdles, and operational challenges like price risk, with increasingly sophisticated asset management approaches.
Matt Rebbeck, CEO of RES in Australia, said: “To ensure continued investor confidence in the sector each and every project must be well-sited for both resource and grid connection. RES has worked to manage these market challenges and, as a result, has built a particularly strong project pipeline. As such, we’re pleased to announce that the permitting of Twin Creek Wind Farm sees us exceed 2GW approved for development.
“Current grid challenges, and growing appetite from Australian businesses for Power Purchase Agreements have also resulted in a strong demand for construction and asset management services provision from experienced partners who can manage long-term risks for investors. Leveraging the global expertise of the RES Group alongside the market-specific knowledge the team have established over the past decade in Australia, RES has achieved a portfolio of over 750MW of assets in operation, constructed or under construction.”
Twin Creek delivers net gains for community and biodiversity
The 185MW Twin Creek project is sited near to the proposed 275-kV transmission line linking South Australia and New South Wales, Project Energy Connect. Once completed, the state, already a leader in Australian renewables with wind and solar accounting for more than 50% of energy generation, will be ideally positioned as an exporter of high volumes of renewable energy to the eastern seaboard.
Dan Leahy, Twin Creek Project Manager, RES, said: “The team sited and designed Twin Creek Wind Farm to make best possible use of the very high wind speeds recorded at the exposed, ridgeline site whilst responding to the unique environmental circumstances and concerns of the local community.”
The layout of the site, fine-tuned by RES through discussions with the local community, sees the turbines maintain a two-kilometer buffer from the nearest non-associated dwellings to keep noise well below guideline levels. Likewise, the layout will be highly sensitive to wildlife in the surrounding area, includingsouthern hairy nosed wombats and the pygmy blue-tongued lizard. To minimize the impact of the development on their habitats, the number of turbines has been limited and biodiversity offset areas have been identified to improve the outlook for each species.
Dan continued, “We are proud to say that we have taken every possible action to mitigate the impact of this development on the local wildlife and community. Our aim is for Twin Creek to support the area’s biodiversity as well as its people, and the project will bring 160 construction jobs, followed by ongoing employment for 8 people. The local towns have seen a number of businesses close in recent years, and this project will provide a tremendous economic boost to the area.”
Image source: RES
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