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ACT gives NSW’s biggest wind farm a kick along

By Charlotte Harper 4 March 2016 35

wind farm

The ACT Government has ensured construction will commence on what will be NSW’s largest wind farm by awarding renewable energy developer CWP Renewables a feed-in tariff of $89.10 per MW/h for 100MW capacity to power nearly 50,000 homes.

The choice of CWP’s Sapphire Wind Farm near Inverell in northern NSW as the second winning project in the ACT’s second wind auction brings with it investment benefits worth $100 million over 20 years to the territory.

CWP is a joint venture between Europe’s Continential Wind Partners and Britain’s Wind Prospect Group.

ACT Environment Minister Simon Corbell said the project would power 48,600 Canberra homes and that total costs to consumers associated with all current and proposed large-scale renewable energy projects would peak at $4.67 per household per week, on average, in 2020.

He said CWP would relocate its asset management operations from Newcastle to the ACT, investing $34 million in the development of an ACT-based asset and operations management centre for its growing national and international generation fleet.

“CWP will be the third wind developer and asset manager to base their operations here in Canberra making our city a major hub for wind energy innovation and investment,” Mr Corbell said.

“CWP Renewables will invest $3 million in a world-leading zero carbon micro-grid to be developed at CIT Bruce. This forms part of a $33 million investment in local micro-grid initiatives with strong trades training and research integration. CWP also will invest $35 million to develop an Asia-Pacific micro-grid export hub in the ACT.

“In a win for local companies, the developers will give preference to ACT-based businesses when awarding contracts for the construction of the wind farm – worth at least $5 million.”

Alex Hewitt, Managing Director CWP Renewables, said the ACT purchase of Sapphire Wind Farm renewable energy would allow CWP to commence construction of what will become the largest wind farm in the NSW.

“Construction of the 260MW Sapphire Wind Farm will generate local jobs and investment both in the ACT and in the New England region of NSW,” he said.

“We are looking forward to centralising our asset management team in Canberra to manage wind and solar farms across Australia and Asia.

“Our ACT investment package includes new partnerships with learning institutions and smart technology providers, and an investment opportunity offer to the community.”

Mr Corbell said that by the time Sapphire starts producing energy in April 2018, the ACT will be sourcing 80% of its energy needs from renewable sources and well on the way to achieving 90% by 2020.

“The ACT’s pioneering reverse auction process ensures that Canberrans pay low prices for electricity while receiving maximum local investment benefits,” the Minister said.

Sapphire Wind Farm achieved State and Commonwealth Approval in June 2013 and December 2014 respectively for up to 159 wind turbines on its proposed site between Inverell and Glen Innes and 100 km north of Armidale in New England, northern NSW.

Pictured is a file image of wind turbines.

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35 Responses to
ACT gives NSW’s biggest wind farm a kick along
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dungfungus 9:19 am 08 Mar 16

Southmouth said :

If i buy organic bananas, they come to me indirectly but with some labelling or other indicator that i am getting the banana i paid a premium for. In the electricity market, my organic banana goes into a big market where all the bananas get mixed up and i get the same percentage of organic bananas as the guy who did not ask or pay for organic. I am happy though because there are more organic bananas overall. Or am i?

By 2020, 90% of all bananas sold in the ACT will be organic.

pajs 9:15 am 08 Mar 16

Southmouth said :

If i buy organic bananas, they come to me indirectly but with some labelling or other indicator that i am getting the banana i paid a premium for. In the electricity market, my organic banana goes into a big market where all the bananas get mixed up and i get the same percentage of organic bananas as the guy who did not ask or pay for organic. I am happy though because there are more organic bananas overall. Or am i?

Silly analogy. Distributed, individual product can’t be compared with something reliant on common infrastructure like electricity or gas.

Southmouth 7:58 am 08 Mar 16

If i buy organic bananas, they come to me indirectly but with some labelling or other indicator that i am getting the banana i paid a premium for. In the electricity market, my organic banana goes into a big market where all the bananas get mixed up and i get the same percentage of organic bananas as the guy who did not ask or pay for organic. I am happy though because there are more organic bananas overall. Or am i?

wildturkeycanoe 6:03 am 08 Mar 16

rubaiyat said :

rubaiyat said :

Southmouth said :

gooterz said :

100MWh x 89.1$/MWh x 24 hours x 365 days =$78 million per year.

$78 million / 52 weeks / $4.67 per household = 321411 households.

Unless I’m mistake it seems like its also per person rather than per household.

Um, it’s spin. The 100MW of energy is only available when the wind blows. If you assume 25 percent of the time then the maths works.

Not surprisingly the problem is with the “assume”.

Wind farms operate 70-85% of the time.

And yet they kill only a tiny fraction of the birds/kilowatt that coal burning power stations do.

Coal burning power stations, which also release an astounding amount of radioactive particles as part of their billions of tonnes of pollutants.

I wonder how much pollution comes out of the aluminium smelters that make the blades, the steel factories that manufacture the tower structure, the copper mines that dig up the ore for the motor windings, the bulldozers paving new roads across desolate farmland, the trucks that carry all these materials and labor to the remote sites where they assemble the wind generators and every facet of manufacturing and transport involved in construction and maintenance of the electricity grid which delivers the power from the “green energy generator” to your meter box? Does wind power still look environmentally friendly?

Paul2913 11:14 pm 07 Mar 16

wildturkeycanoe said :

Does anybody know how Canberra is supposed to be 90% green by 2020? Will it be enforced switching to green energy or will our supplier only buy green and onsell it at premium price? What about the other suppliers, will they be part of this scheme? I can only see it happen with “nanny state” laws making it compulsory.

It’s in the same way that the ACT will have “No Waste by 2010”.

dungfungus 2:46 pm 07 Mar 16

rubaiyat said :

rubaiyat said :

Southmouth said :

gooterz said :

100MWh x 89.1$/MWh x 24 hours x 365 days =$78 million per year.

$78 million / 52 weeks / $4.67 per household = 321411 households.

Unless I’m mistake it seems like its also per person rather than per household.

Um, it’s spin. The 100MW of energy is only available when the wind blows. If you assume 25 percent of the time then the maths works.

Not surprisingly the problem is with the “assume”.

Wind farms operate 70-85% of the time.

And yet they kill only a tiny fraction of the birds/kilowatt that coal burning power stations do.

Coal burning power stations, which also release an astounding amount of radioactive particles as part of their billions of tonnes of pollutants.

Gee, coal fired power stations are nearly as evil as cars.

rubaiyat 12:26 pm 07 Mar 16

rubaiyat said :

Southmouth said :

gooterz said :

100MWh x 89.1$/MWh x 24 hours x 365 days =$78 million per year.

$78 million / 52 weeks / $4.67 per household = 321411 households.

Unless I’m mistake it seems like its also per person rather than per household.

Um, it’s spin. The 100MW of energy is only available when the wind blows. If you assume 25 percent of the time then the maths works.

Not surprisingly the problem is with the “assume”.

Wind farms operate 70-85% of the time.

And yet they kill only a tiny fraction of the birds/kilowatt that coal burning power stations do.

Coal burning power stations, which also release an astounding amount of radioactive particles as part of their billions of tonnes of pollutants.

Southmouth 11:41 am 07 Mar 16

rubaiyat said :

Southmouth said :

gooterz said :

100MWh x 89.1$/MWh x 24 hours x 365 days =$78 million per year.

$78 million / 52 weeks / $4.67 per household = 321411 households.

Unless I’m mistake it seems like its also per person rather than per household.

Um, it’s spin. The 100MW of energy is only available when the wind blows. If you assume 25 percent of the time then the maths works.

Not surprisingly the problem is with the “assume”.

Wind farms operate 70-85% of the time.

Not surprisingly, there is the spin again. They may “operate” at the rate you suggest but are at low output a lot of the time. The fact is they generate way less than 50 percent of their rated capacity over a year. Quite variable with site obviously. I’m not against wind by the way, as long as i can’t see or hear them.

Southmouth 10:56 am 07 Mar 16

rubaiyat said :

Southmouth said :

Unless someone gives us all large batteries, we will still be using coal and gas. These deals just guarantee the generator a minimum amount when exporting into the grid. So at 6pm when you get home, if there is 10,000Mw of generation in the grid and 100Mw is wind then in simple terms 1% of your consumption is wind supplied just like everyone not in the ACT. It is not possible to “point” this wind power to the ACT separately as the entire eastern half of the country is one grid.

When I buy fruit and veg from the shops it is not directly “pointed” at me but the choice is real.

If I buy healthy vegetables instead of processed junk food in conjunction many others that alters the supply.

The problem, as with junk food, is the large number of lazy, ignorant and anti-social people shifting us in completely the wrong direction. All adding up to a massive Mr Fluffy bill down the track. The lazy, ignorant and anti-social individuals will be the first to complain, even as they try to shift it all onto someone else to pay for their bad choices.

So we agree. Your $5 goes to increasing the amount of wind in the NEM, it does not give ACT residents a bigger share of wind power than NSW residents.

Southmouth 10:53 am 07 Mar 16

At 10:50 there was about 9840MW of demand in NSW. 214MW was being supplied by wind from an install base of about 680MW.

wildturkeycanoe 10:41 am 07 Mar 16

Does anybody know how Canberra is supposed to be 90% green by 2020? Will it be enforced switching to green energy or will our supplier only buy green and onsell it at premium price? What about the other suppliers, will they be part of this scheme? I can only see it happen with “nanny state” laws making it compulsory.

switch 10:18 am 07 Mar 16

rubaiyat said :

Wind farms operate 70-85% of the time.

No they don’t. AEMO stats show they are only good for about a third of their rated capacity.

gooterz 8:25 am 07 Mar 16

rubaiyat said :

Southmouth said :

gooterz said :

100MWh x 89.1$/MWh x 24 hours x 365 days =$78 million per year.

$78 million / 52 weeks / $4.67 per household = 321411 households.

Unless I’m mistake it seems like its also per person rather than per household.

Um, it’s spin. The 100MW of energy is only available when the wind blows. If you assume 25 percent of the time then the maths works.

Not surprisingly the problem is with the “assume”.

Wind farms operate 70-85% of the time.

If its 75% then the cost per week is wrong (far too low)

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