Acciona has inaugurated its third Australian wind farm, located in New South Wales near the town of Gunning, in a ceremony attended by Australian Prime Minister, the Honourable Julia Gillard MP, and hosted by the Company`s Chairman, José Manuel Entrecanales.
The Gunning Wind Farm is a 46.5 MW wind power plant consisting of 31 Windpower AW-1500 wind turbines. The wind energy project represents an AUD $147 million investment (107 million euros) and will deliver enough renewable energy to power 23,250 Australian homes. The project will also reduce the region’s reliance on fossil fuels and save more than 162,750 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
Gunning is Acciona’s third wind farm in Australia. The Company has built and owns other two wind farms in the country: Waubra Wind Farm (192 MW) in Victoria and Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm (66 MW) in South Australia, which is owned in a joint venture. The three wind farms have a production capacity of 304.5MW of green energy, equivalent to the energy needs of 205,000 Australian households.
"Australia is one of Acciona’s key strategic growth markets across all of Acciona’s primary activities: renewables, infrastructure and water," said Mr. Entrecanales in remarks to invited guests. "It is a pleasure to be here to celebrate the opening of our third wind farm in Australia and 278th that Acciona has installed worldwide – particularly at such a momentous turning point in this country’s history."
Mr. Entrecanales went on to congratulate the Australian Government and the Prime Minister on the announcement of their carbon pricing package and related initiatives to grow renewable energy as a key part of Australia’s action on climate change.
The Australian Federal Government has set an ambitious target of obtaining twenty percent of Australia’s power from renewable sources by 2020, making projects like the Gunning Wind Farm ever more critical to achieving this goal. In addition to the clean energy that the Gunning Wind Farm will generate and add to the electrical grid, the project has also produced 100 temporary construction jobs and eight permanent positions for the project’s expected 25-year life.
Acciona has invested more than AUD $630 million in our Australian operations since 2002 and employed more than 500 people across the country.
Apart from its energy activities, the Group also enjoys a relevant presence in other sectors. Acciona Infrastructure is part of a consortium that won the bid to design, construct, operate and maintain the landmark Legacy Way transport project (formerly the Northern Link Tunnel) in Brisbane, Queensland. In Victoria, Acciona has been short-listed for the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre development in Parkville, Melbourne.
In South Australia, Acciona Agua is working in a consortium to design and build the desalination plant at Port Stanvac near Adelaide and is part of another consortium that will operate and maintain the plant. The Company is also part of the Helena Water Consortium that successfully tendered to design, construct and operate the Mundaring Water Treatment Plant near Perth.
Acciona puts its fourth concentrated solar power (CSP) plant into service in Spain. The entry into service of Palma del Río I means that the company has installed 200 megawatts of solar thermal solar power in Spain and 23% of the country’s current concentrated solar energy capacity.