18 December 2022

$356 million wind farm now flying high at Collector

| Sally Hopman
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At the recent opening of the Collector Wind Farm are (from left) Thai Chief de’Affairs Sira Swangsilpa, Aunty Chelsea, RATCH CEO Polagorn Kheosiplard and Clean Energy Finance Corporation CEO Ian Learmonth. Photo: Supplied.

A new $356 million wind farm, the largest of its kind built by the RATCH-Australia group, has opened recently at Collector, in southern NSW – and will produce enough energy to power 80,000 average homes.

Collector Wind Farm, which was 10 years in the making, boasts 54 turbines, producing a total of 528GWh (gigawatt hours) a year. RATCH-Australia’s chief executive officer Polagorn Kheosiplard said that amount of clean energy was enough to save about 320,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year – the equivalent of taking 120,000 cars off the road.

The wind farm was officially opened by Mr Kheosiplard, chief executive officer of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) Ian Learmonth and the Thai Deputy Ambassador Sira Swangsilpa. Mr Kheosiplard said the project had been made possible with the support of the project’s first financier, the CEFC, Lumea, Vestas, the project offtaker Iberdrola, ALDI Australia and the project’s hosting landowners.

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Indigenous elder Aunty Chelsea gave a Welcome to Country at the official opening.

“This new wind farm is an important step in Australia’s journey to decarbonisation and we are very proud to be able to produce clean, cheap energy for the market,” Mr Kheosiplard said.

“We are very pleased to have supported the local region with contracts and jobs, employing more than 150 people throughout construction.

“It is now managed by up to 10 full-time staff, providing clean-energy jobs in the region.

“We are happy that we have been able to share benefits with the Collector community since we started operating as well.

Man and wind farm turbine

The new Collector Wind Farm features a total of 54 turbines and was built at a cost of $356 million. Photo: Supplied.

“In the past two years, we have distributed almost half a million dollars to community organisations in Collector and surrounds. It’s nice to see these grants being put to good use as we can see the Collector Memorial Hall, Uniting Church and oval making improvements to their facilities, for example.”

Another key player in the Collector Wind Farm project is ALDI, the first supermarket in Australia to have all stores, warehouses and offices powered using only renewable energy sources, reducing CO2 emissions by 85 per cent.

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ALDI’s Daniel Baker, director, corporate responsibility, said: “It is through partnerships like this one with RATCH-Australia that we are able to achieve our commitment six months ahead of schedule in 2021.

“We absolutely congratulate everyone at RATCH-Australia on their investment in clean-energy infrastructure.

“Collector Wind Farm is another strong step forward in infrastructure that will help Australia reach its target to reach net zero emissions by 2050, an ambition that ALDI absolutely endorses.”

Iberdrola Australia executive chairman Ross Rolfe, AO, said his company had already worked with the RATCH across several projects.

“Collector represents another case of project developers working closely with Iberdrola to provide Australian customers with competitively priced green electricity,” he said.

“This collaborative approach helps accelerate the renewable transition while providing customers with firm product offerings for 100 per cent green energy.”

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