Engie officially opened its Willogoleche Wind Farm in Hallett, South Australia yesterday (29th July) - one of the largest renewable energy projects completed in the state, with a generating capacity of 119 MW, capable of delivering renewable energy to 80,000 homes.
Courtesy of Engie
The wind farm was officially opened by The Hon Dan van Holst Pellekaan, State Minister for Energy and Mining and Engie Asia Pacific President and CEO, Paul Maguire. They were joined at the launch by the Mayor of the Regional Council of Goyder and representatives of Mitsui & Co, Engie’s joint venture partner on the project.
Consisting of 32 turbines and currently the fourth largest wind farm in South Australia, the opening of Willogoleche is the latest major milestone in the state’s renewable energy transition. Willogoleche is the first onshore wind farm in the world to install and commission GE’s 3.8 MW turbines at scale, and its 130 metre rotor blades can operate through a range of wind speeds, allowing Engie to maximise the capacity of each turbine.
Power from the site will be delivered via Engie’s retail arm, Simply Energy, which has more than 700,000 customers in Australia, including nearly 90,000 in South Australia.
The wind farm represents a $250 million investment by Engie and follows a $75 million upgrade to its 500 MW Pelican Point Power Station, one of the most environmentally friendly of its type in Australia. In total Engie has more than 800 MW of wind-firming capacity available in South Australia making a critical contribution to the state’s energy security and stability.
“The Willogoleche Wind Farm adds another significant renewable energy resource to South Australia’s impressive portfolio of wind and solar generation” said Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan, commenting on the opening of Willogoleche. “Willogoleche’s 119 MW capacity will put downward pressure on prices by increasing competition in the South Australia’s energy market. The addition of further wind power adds momentum to the case for associated grid-scale storage and an interconnector between SA and NSW to enable the export of South Australia’s abundant renewable energy to the eastern seaboard.”
Engie Asia Pacific President and CEO Paul Maguire added that Willogoleche is the latest demonstration of Engie’s long-term commitment to South Australia and that the investment significantly increases the company’s local generation capacity to deliver more renewable energy to its growing customer base in the state.
In addition to Willogoleche, Engie operates the 46 MW Canunda Wind Farm in South Australia and has renewable energy projects under development in Queensland and New South Wales.