Renewable Energy Systems (RES), a subsidiary of UK company Sir Robert McAlpine Enterprises, has invested A$450 million in a wind farm in Ararat, situated 2.5 hours west of Melbourne.

The Ararat wind farm will be one of the largest in Australia and will generate enough electricity to power around 230,000 homes per annum – approximately six per cent of Victoria's homes.

The wind farm will have a life span of 25 years and under a power purchase agreement the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) will take up approximately 40 per cent of the power generated by the plant. Construction is expected to take two years, with power delivered to the grid from April 2017.

The project is the result of a partnership between the globally listed companies, GE, Downer, the Partners Group and OPTrust.

Matt Rebbeck, Chief Operating Officer for Australia at RES, said, "After many years of work from a dedicated team, RES is proud to deliver the Ararat Wind Farm. It is a world class project and one of the largest in Australia. The project will provide significant benefits to the local community through the creation of jobs and funding initiatives to support good causes in the region."

Renewable Energy Systems was established in Australia in 2004. Headquartered in London, the group has projects in Canada, France, Scandinavia, Scotland, Turkey and the United States. The company's specialist wind energy team includes professionals in engineering, construction, network connection and commercial wind farm development. Specialist staff cover the areas of wind resource assessment, wind turbine procurement, turbine technology assessment, network analysis, and connection design.

Victoria's excellent wind resources make it an attractive destination for wind energy projects. Since 2008, Victoria's wind energy capacity has increased from around 130 megawatts (MW) to around 1,080 MW.

New energy technology is a key growth industry for Victoria, with increasing opportunities for investment.  It is one of the six key sectors highlighted by the Victorian Government through the Future Industries Fund which will see A$200 million invested in targeted sectors to promote investment and increase jobs.  The investment includes the A$20 million New Energy Jobs fund that offers support to community groups and businesses developing renewable energy projects.