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Press Release

Ararat Wind Farm Celebrates the Commencement of Construction

November 29, 2015

Almost $10 million in contracts awarded to Victorian businesses so far 

27 November 2015, Ararat, VICTORIA: The Ararat Wind Farm (AWF) today celebrated the commencement of construction with a ground-breaking ceremony attended by Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Minister for Industry, Energy and Resources, and Dan Tehan MP, Member for Wannon, Victoria. Ms D’Ambrosio and Mr Tehan were joined by Paul Hooper, Mayor of Ararat and Stuart Liddell, General Manager of AWF as they each broke the first ground at the site of Turbine No. 1, which will be amoung the first to be installed and commissioned from mid-2016.

Contracts worth almost $10 million have been awarded to local and Victorian businesses as part of the project so far, including Keppel Prince, Wilson Transformer Company, Miller Civil Contractors, Mansfield Crushing, MKM Constructions, King’s Cars and Dale Bell Fencing. 165 jobs are expected to be created as part of the two year construction phase.

With initial earthworks already underway, the ~$450 million wind farm development, financed by shareholders Partners Group, RES, OPTrust and GE, is on track to deliver its first electricity to the grid in September 2016.

Ms D'Ambrosio commented: "Projects like the Ararat Wind Farm are creating jobs and helping grow Victoria's renewable energy industry, which are key priorities of the Andrews Labor Government. We are committed to ensuring Victoria is the renewable energy capital of Australia and it’s exciting to see projects like the Ararat Wind Farm helping us achieve that," she said.

Mr Tehan added that he “welcomes the investment into renewable energy around Ararat and in particular the jobs this project will create in the region. The project will importantly highlight the ongoing potential of our local manufacturers and businesses.”

Mr Liddell thanked the local community for their support for the project so far. “We have held several community information sessions and have seen wonderful support from local residents and landowners. The response from the local business community has also been positive, and we encourage contractors to get in touch for information about opportunities throughout the build.”

The construction of the wind farm is a joint venture between GE and Downer. GE will also supply the 75 wind turbines to be installed from mid-2016.

“It is tremendously encouraging to see this project progress, particularly at a time when we are discussing our energy future as a nation,” said Peter Cowling, General Manager of Renewables at GE. “We are looking at several other renewable energy projects around the country, and are looking forward to working with communities, government and operators as we continue our progress towards a low-carbon economy.”

Trevor Cohen, Executive Director, Downer Utilities added: “We are very pleased with the progress made so far and proud to be working with so many local Victorian businesses. We are now set to begin the next phase of work, which will include the construction of access tracks and the installation of foundations for the wind towers and turbines.”

The Ararat wind farm will have a life span of 25 years and will generate enough electricity to power around 123,000 homes per annum, or approximately six per cent of Victoria’s households. 

About the Ararat Wind Farm
The 240 MW Ararat Wind Farm, developed by RES Australia, is now a $450 million project financed by shareholders RES, GE, Partners Group and OPTrust.  The wind farm will be located on rural land located approximately 180 km northwest of Melbourne and between 9-17 kms northeast of Ararat in Victoria and will comprise of up to 75 turbines.  Construction of the wind farm is a joint venture between Downer and GE. Construction will commence in September 2015 and will be completed in 2017 and will use GE 3.2MW turbines.   The wind farm will have a life span of 25 years and will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of around 120,000 homes or 6% of Victoria’s households.  Transmission Operations Australia 2, (TOA2), a subsidiary of Transmission General Holdings Australia, (TGHA), will be constructing the 21.5 kms of transmission lines and terminal station located outside Elmhurst, which are required to connect the wind farm to the grid.  Ararat Wind Farm will be the third largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere.  Further details regarding the wind farm and construction progress can be found on the project website:

About GE
GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the "GE Store," through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry.

About Downer
Downer EDI Limited (Downer) is a leading provider of services to customers in markets including: Transport Services; Rail; Mining; Utilities Services; Technology and Communications Services; and Engineering, Construction & Maintenance. We build strong relationships of trust with our customers, truly understanding and predicting their needs and bringing them world leading insights and solutions. Downer employs about 20,000 people across more than 200 sites and projects, mostly in Australia and New Zealand, but also in the Asia-Pacific region, South America and Southern Africa. For more on Downer, visit:

Jessica Power

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