The 212 MW Lincoln Gap wind farm, located near Port Augusta in South Australia, exported its first generation of energy as Nexif Energy reported that it intervened to keep the project on track while Senvion ranks its financial problems.
The Lincoln Gap wind farm is one of the state's largest new renewable energy ventures, and one of many new projects that are likely to bring the share of renewable energy to about 70 percent in a few years.
Lincoln Gap will combine the wind farm with a 10MWh battery storage facility, which can be expanded over time. The first of Fluence's batteries arrives tomorrow, and the facility will be completed by the end of May, project manager Andrew Houston told RenewEconomy.
The wind farm – due to be completed in May of next year – is one of the two main renewable energy projects under construction in the region, with the first phase of 220MW of the complete Bungala solar farm and the other still being completed.
The 95MW Tailem Bend solar farm recently reached its full production for the first time, while other solar farms are being proposed by Sanjeev Gupta's Simec Energy (280MW in Whyalla), with several other projects dependent on new grid connections.
The future of the Lincoln Gap, however, was called into question when it was put into a form of administration because of financial problems. The company landed a loan of 100 million euros last week, which should provide enough cash flow to reorganize.
Nexif Energy, however, says it has entered into interim agreements to secure payment for contractors at the Lincoln Gap, while Senvion addresses its difficulties and financial requirements.
"These agreements will be implemented in the coming days and will include the provision of financing for subcontractors at the Senvion site through direct payment of amounts due to continue work on the project, which is rapidly taking shape," it said in a statement.
The company did not return the calls for more details.
Nexif said in its statement that the wind turbine's first turbine began exporting its "significant first generation" to South Australia's electricity grid last week and since then two other wind turbines have started operating.
He said the work on the project is under way and that a second of these cranes is due to come on stream in early May to substantially increase the rate at which turbines are set and power generation in the coming months.