Meridian to build hemisphere's largest wind farm

Meridian Energy and Australian electricity generator AGL have announced plans to build the southern hemisphere's biggest wind farm.Meridian will hold a 50% investment share in the A$1 billion 420 MW Macarthur wind farm in southwest Victoria, due for completion in 2013.

Meridian Energy and Australian electricity generator AGL have announced plans to build the southern hemisphere’s biggest wind farm.

Meridian will hold a 50% investment share in the A$1 billion 420 MW Macarthur wind farm in southwest Victoria, due for completion in 2013.

Meridian chief executive Tim Lusk described the project as a great opportunity.

"It offers long term, reliable generation revenues which will complement the rest of Meridian’s developing Australian wind portfolio," he said today in a release.

He said that the venture's electricity purchase contracts have been structured to avoid market price and electricity volume risk.

The project received a green light after changes to Australia’s renewable energy target legislation increased confidence in its commercial viability.

According to Mr Lusk, wind generation currently holds a “substantial cost advantage over other grid scale renewable technologies that can be practically deployed in Australia”.

Danish manufacturer Vestas - which has a strong relationship with Meridian in New Zealand - has won the Macarthur contract with its V112-3.0 MW turbines.

Earlier this year, Meridian acquired the 70 MW Mt Millar wind farm in South Australia. The company holds several other wind development sites in Australia.

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