Two Victorian wind farms have won 20-year deals with the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), to supply a third of Canberra's electricity needs.
In a deal worth A$68 million a year each, the alternative power venture is set to increase Canberra household power bills by A$93, however with 200 megawatts of capacity, the wind farms are expected to create a 580,000-tonne reduction to the city's yearly carbon emission each year (the equivalent of removing 157,000 cars).
Windlab will also run the other wind farm near Bendigo (90 minutes north of Melbourne), a smaller 19.4 megawatts operation jointly owned by local farmers. Operating within a year, the company will be paid A$81.50 for each megawatt hour of electricity produced - an expected 81,000 megawatt hours per year.
With strong community support, the wind farms are expected to deliver great economic benefits to the city of Canberra. The two wind farms, along with a third farm in South Australia, will together supply 33 per cent of Canberra's renewable electricity - equal to powering up to 107,000 homes.
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. This increase has seen an approximate doubling of Victoria's wind energy capacity since 2012 and, most recently, the commissioning of the 131 MW Mount Mercer wind farm in September 2014.