Australian-based building and construction superfund Cbus Super announced the closure of its investment in the Warradarge wind farm, a 180-megawatt greenfield development based in Western Australia.
The investment was executed in a partnership with Bright Energy Investments, of which Cbus Super and the Dutch Infrastructure Fund (DIF) acquired an 80.1% equity interest in April 2018.
“This is a solid investment that is set to provide good long-term returns for our members and contribute to a low-emissions future,” Cbus CEO David Atkin said in a prepared statement. The construction of the project is expected to commence in the first half of 2019, with forecasted construction costs surmounting to about AUD 600 million ($422.4 million).
The project was originally initiated by a joint venture between Verve Energy and Synergy, the Western Australian government-owned electricity generator in 2012. The companies filed for an extension of the approval period for the wind farm to the Shire of Coorow council in May 2017, after implications –, one of them being the relatively high prices of the asset—lengthened the development process for the project.
The joint venture argued that its proposal would “add to the power generation and distribution infrastructure within the region which in turn will assist in enhancing economic and employment opportunity and attraction of the industry.” The council approved the motion.
The development will see the installation of about 100 wind turbines 15 km northeast of Warradarge, Shire of Coorow and Shire of Carnamah, as well as a 10 km transmission line from the existing 330 kV line to transport power from the wind farm to Carnamah.
The “Bright Energy Investment has been a landmark deal for superannuation fund investment in renewable energy,” Atkin added in his statement. The project is expected to begin operations in 2020.