Ground broken for an Australian-first (Media release)

Moreland City Council joined its partners in the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project on Friday to celebrate the official start of construction on a new 80 MW wind farm in Crowlands, near Ararat, to be run by Pacific Hydro.

​The wind farm will provide electricity to 14 leading organisations, which have combined their purchasing power to support the development of new renewable energy infrastructure in regional Australia.

Moreland City Council Mayor John Kavanagh said Merri-bek City Council has always been at the forefront of sustainability initiatives, and described joining the 13 other leading organisations as a natural step towards achieving even greater outcomes for the community.

“We are excited to be linking up with other councils, universities, as well as the private sector and we’re confident this innovative and unique model for purchasing ‘home grown’ renewable energy will stimulate interest among other local governments, businesses and institutions looking to decarbonise their operations,” said Cr Kavanagh.

The Crowlands windfarm – the first project of its kind in Australia – will save customers of the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project 96,000 tonnes of CO2 every year and create more than 140 construction jobs as well as eight ongoing positions to operate and manage the facility.

Representatives from the project partners met with the Crowlands community on Friday, with work now underway to transform the site into a wind farm.

“The 39 turbines that will be installed in the coming months will provide enough energy to power more than 17,000 households every year,” said Cr Kavanagh.

City of Melbourne Acting Lord Mayor Arron Wood  added, “The additional power that's generated will feed back into the grid and be used by businesses and households across south eastern Australia, improving supply and affordability for all customers."

Pacific Hydro owns and will operate the wind farm when it is completed early in 2019, and its retail arm, Tango Energy, will supply the power.

Melbourne Renewable Energy Project partners include the City of Melbourne, University of Melbourne, RMIT, Federation Square, City of Port Phillip, City of Yarra, Merri-bek City Council, Bank Australia, Zoos Victoria, Citywide, National Australia Bank, Australia Post, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and NEXTDC.

Media release: 27 March 2018