UPC Renewables has signed an agreement to develop two of the largest wind farms at Robbins Island and Jims Plain in Australia.

With the creation of UPC Renewables Australia, the company has entered into the Australian renewable energy market. 

The two wind farms are expected to have an aggregate energy potential between 600MW and 1000MW.

Investigation for the wind projects’ feasibility on the west side of Robbins Island (area of 10,184 hectares) and Jims Plains (area of 380 hectares) started 16 years ago.

For lodgement of a Development Proposal and Environmental Management Plan for both sites, over  12 years of wind data, environmental studies and financial modelling were completed. 

Lack of viable transmissions solution and volatility in government’s policy at the time had led to the project’s delay.

The Robbins Island projects are expected to be ready for investment in early 2019 and they could also create about 250 jobs during the construction phase and more than 50 jobs during the operational phase.

The smaller Jims Plan project’s investment could be ready by next year, with a smaller number of additional jobs.

Once built, the total cost of Robbins Island and Jims Plains projects is estimated to be in the range of $1.2bn to $1.6bn.

UPC Renewables Australia CEO Anton Rohner “The Robbins Island project itself is a very large isolated site and, together with Jims Plain, have some of the best proven wind resources in the world.

“Once built, it will complement the Prime Minister’s recently announced strategy for Tasmanian Wind and Hydro systems to act as south-east Australia’s renewable energy battery and is close to the Australian Energy Market Operator’s proposed entry point for a second interconnector between Tasmania and Victoria.”

“The Robbins Island and Jims Plain projects, together with Tasmania’s hydro assets and other new renewable energy projects, will assist in making a second interconnector a dispatchable and significant renewable energy generator into the National Electricity Market.”

Rohner said: “With the changes in the energy market and potential viable transmission solutions available this projects is set to proceed; Robbins Island and Jims Plain could accommodate approximately 600MW to 1,000MW of wind energy generation capacity between them.”

“The technology to be deployed at the site will be mostly wind energy but the option of additional solar and other non-hydro based energy storage technologies is also contemplated.”

Image: UPC Renewables to construct two wind farms in Australia. Photo: Courtesy of Jim Frech/FreeImages.com.