PROJECT | Staff Reporter, Australia

Vestas buys into wind farm for Walcha Energy's 4GW energy project

It will lead the development of the farm and co-own it with the community.

Vestas acquired a majority stake in the 700MW Winterbourne Wind Farm, which is the first stage of the wind component of the 4GW Walcha Energy Project, an announcement revealed.

The Walcha Energy Project will comprise wind, solar, and pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) projects and will stand on the ground around Walcha in the New England tablelands.

The next stage of the development of the Winterbourne Wind Farm will focus on the preparation of an environmental impact assessment to support a development application in 2020. Subject to obtaining the necessary approvals, the wind farm is planned to commence operations in 2022

Vestas will lead the development of the project and co-own it with community stakeholders. Walcha Energy will assist Vestas with land, community engagement and grid strategy.

In the same announcement, Walcha Energy said that it has now commenced the next phase of the feasibility study of building a PHES around the existing 6.4 megalitre Dungowan Dam. This work will be completed over the next three to four months and involves a trade-off analysis of upper and lower reservoir options.

Previously, Walcha Energy, Arup, and Tamworth Regional Council had agreed to explore the option of Dungowan Dam to form part of the 4GW Walcha Energy Project’s PHES scheme.

“In view of the continuing drought in NSW and the pressures on water supply for the Tamworth/Peel Valley, the feasibility study will also assess how the water security can be enhanced through the design of the PHES scheme and expanding the existing catchment,” said the company. 

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