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Lincoln Gap wind farm delivers first power to grid deals with Senvion issues

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The 212MW Lincoln Gap wind farm, located near Port Augusta in South Australia, has exported its first energy generation as project owner Nexif Energy said it had intervened to keep the project on track while Senvion sorts out its financial problems.

The Lincoln Gap wind farm is one of the newest renewable energy developments in the state, and one of the new projects that will share the renewable energy around 70 per cent within a few years.

Lincoln Gap will combine the wind farm with 10MWh battery storage installation, which could be expanded over time. The first of the Fluence batteries arrives tomorrow, and the installation will be complete by May, project manager Andrew Houston told RenewEconomy.

The wind farm – due to be complete in May next year – is one of two major renewable energy projects under construction in the area, with the first stage of 220MW solar farm complete, and the other still being completed.

The 95MW Tailem Bend Solar Farm is now full of output for the first time, while other solar farms are being proposed by Sanjeev Gupta’s Simec Energy (280MW at Whyalla), with a number of other dependent grid connections.

The future of Lincoln Gap, however, was thrown into doubt when it went into the form of administration because of financial problems. It landed a € 100 million loan facility last week, which should provide enough cash flow as it re-organizes itself.

Nexif Energy, however, says it has made interim arrangements for contractors at Lincoln Gap while Senvion addresses its financial difficulties and requirements.

"These arrangements will be implemented over the coming days and include the provision of funding for Senvion's on-site subcontractors through direct payment to the project, which is quickly taking shape," it said in a statement.

The company did not return calls asking for further details.

Nexif said in its statement that the first wind farm turbines began its "first meaningful generation" to South Australia's electricity grid last week and since then, two wind turbines have commenced operations.

It said the work on the project is proceeding and the second dry crane is due to site in early May to increase the rate at which the turbines are established and generation output over coming months.

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