Three wind farms in Victoria and South Australia have won 20-year contracts with the ACT Government to supply a third of Canberra’s electricity needs within two years.

The biggest is a 100 megawatt wind farm, owned by the French company Neoen. It will be located at Hornsdale, 90 kilometres from Port Augusta in South Australia.

The second wind farm will be an 80.5 megawatt wind farm being developed by the British-based RES Australia in Ararat, near Ballarat in Victoria.

Windlab, a spin-off from the CSIRO, was the third successful company. It will develop a 19.4 megawatt wind farm near Bendigo. The project will be jointly owned by local farmers. Windlab will also manage the Ararat wind farm from a new “operations hub” in Canberra.

The contracts are worth a total of $68 million a year to the three companies.

The next auction, later this year, by the ACT Government will be for 50 megawatts of new-generation solar. This will be followed by a waste-to-energy project and another wind auction, probably in 2016.