Sunday, 11 December 2011

Origin Energy buying electricity from Gunning Wind Farm
23 Nov 2011

Origin Energy has expanded its renewable energy portfolio, entering into a long-term power purchase agreement to buy electricity from ACCIONA Energy's Gunning Wind Farm. Under the deal, Origin Energy will initially purchase federal government issued Large-Scale Renewable Energy Certificates (LSREC) from ACCIONA Energy for a period of two years, beginning January 2012. From January 1st 2014, the agreement allows Origin Energy to buy both the LSRECs and the power generated by the wind farm for a further eight years; with an option to extend.

Origin Energy spokesman, Frank Calabria, said that with over half a million green energy customers, the deal would help ensure the company meet its commitment to Australia's Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target. "As an investor in the renewable energy industry, this agreement demonstrates Origin Energy's ongoing commitment to supporting a broad range of renewable energy sources and options to reach our renewable energy target while also helping to meet customer demand for GreenPower"."

The Gunning Wind Farm is located 70 km north-east of Canberra, close to Origin Energy's own Cullerin Range Wind Farm. The $147 million wind farm has been exporting clean energy to the national grid since April this year. Built on privately owned property that is predominantly cleared pastoral land, the facility consists of 31 ACCIONA Energy Windpower 1.5 MW wind turbines, capable of generating 140-150 GW of electricity each year-enough to power 23,250 households while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 162,750 tonnes annually.

100 manufacturing and installation jobs were created during the construction phase, with nine operations and maintenance staff overseeing the operation of the wind farm currently. With a global workforce of over 30,000 employees, ACCIONA Energy is a powerful force in the sustainable infrastructure industry and has invested over $630 million in Australian renewable energy projects since 2002. ACCIONA Energy Generation Director, Brett Wickham said this strong global position allowed the company build and operate the Gunning farm without a power purchase agreement during the global financial crisis.