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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
dungfungus 6:56 pm 05 Mar 16

GCS14 said :

gooterz said :

They should stop making the tiny fans and just build a giant one.
Maybe we could attach some to Telstra tower!

Go and take a closer look at those tiny fans. They are truly enormous.

Why are they called wind “farms”?
They are very industrial contraptions and are certainly can’t be classes as a primary industry.

gooterz 6:50 pm 05 Mar 16

GCS14 said :

gooterz said :

They should stop making the tiny fans and just build a giant one.
Maybe we could attach some to Telstra tower!

Go and take a closer look at those tiny fans. They are truly enormous.

Its all subjective. The solar tower was going to be 1km high with a 1sq km base.

rubaiyat 5:48 pm 05 Mar 16

GCS14 said :

gooterz said :

They should stop making the tiny fans and just build a giant one.
Maybe we could attach some to Telstra tower!

Go and take a closer look at those tiny fans. They are truly enormous.

A few years ago I saw a specially extended semi trailer hauling just one of the blades down to the back of Bungendore. I’d say that would be a baby compared to what they are using now. Truly enormous does not really describe it.

rubaiyat 5:45 pm 05 Mar 16

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.

switch 5:14 pm 05 Mar 16

gooterz said :

Given the cost/additional over 20 years is around $1.5billion and the return is 100 million return from spending 1.5billion in tax payer dollars is a potential return on costs of 6% or less. Its not even an investment.

Some bright spark probably did that calculation and thought the answer was return per annum…

GCS14 3:54 pm 05 Mar 16

gooterz said :

They should stop making the tiny fans and just build a giant one.
Maybe we could attach some to Telstra tower!

Go and take a closer look at those tiny fans. They are truly enormous.

gooterz 1:04 pm 05 Mar 16

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.

gooterz 12:53 pm 05 Mar 16

Charlotte Harper said :

It’s $, have fixed, thanks for spotting that.
I’ll forward your other question on.

Its a strange measurement then as most of the industry uses cents per kilowatt hour.(¢ per kWh)
13.04c/kWh is the cheapest rate for home use any time of the day by acted.

As above 8.91c/kWh is what the government is paying for the green energy. If 50,000 people selected green choice though Acted It would achieve the same effect but come at a rate 7.5c/kWh.

Given the cost/additional over 20 years is around $1.5billion and the return is 100 million return from spending 1.5billion in tax payer dollars is a potential return on costs of 6% or less. Its not even an investment.

Southmouth 10:06 am 05 Mar 16

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.

Charlotte Harper 5:46 am 05 Mar 16

It’s $, have fixed, thanks for spotting that.
I’ll forward your other question on.

gooterz 12:15 am 05 Mar 16

“a feed-in tariff of 89.10 per MW/h for 100MW capacity to power nearly 50,000 homes.”
89.10 Cents / Dollars / Yen?
Sorry needs to have units.

“total costs to consumers associated with all current and proposed large-scale renewable energy projects would peak at $4.67 per household per week”
Total costs to me include supply and usage costs, do you mean the total extra cost to the ACT government though taxes. With additional increases in electricity prices.

The more wind power you generate the less efficient the base load power becomes as you never know how windy it is. Therefore making base load more expensive.

They should stop making the tiny fans and just build a giant one.
Maybe we could attach some to Telstra tower!

rommeldog56 11:33 pm 04 Mar 16

rubaiyat said :

I do wish that an artist would be engaged by Wind Farms to arrange the windmills aesthetically,.

The engineers are struggling with the concept that they do not need to be plunked willy nilly all over the landscape.

Agreed. Perhaps they can use the same “artists” used by Capital Metro who don’t show the overhead power cables for the tram or make it almost undetectable, disappearing into the distance……?

dungfungus 9:57 pm 04 Mar 16

Why is it that the current government insists that all wind generated electricity is bought outside the ACT while at the same time insisting that all ACT generated garbage stays in the ACT?

rubaiyat 5:09 pm 04 Mar 16

I do wish that an artist would be engaged by Wind Farms to arrange the windmills aesthetically,.

The engineers are struggling with the concept that they do not need to be plunked willy nilly all over the landscape.

wildturkeycanoe 12:00 pm 04 Mar 16

Now this is what I don’t get. Up to 50,000 homes will be powered by this wind farm and 90% of Canberra will be reliant on green energy by 2020. Does that mean the government is going to force all households to change their power billing arrangement to more expensive green electricity? If not, will the power retailers simply purchase this green power instead of coal generated electricity, and bill the existing customers as they do now [with the usual increases in price due to reasons known only to them]?
What of the current power generation, will they simply wind down production as we buy less of it with an eventual shutting down of the old plants? Then what. Where are we going to be getting the off-peak electricity from when the wind doesn’t blow? Surely there will have to be a huge investment into storage of all this excess electricity from the abundant supply of environmentally sustainable power.

Smoke and mirrors my friends. By 2020 nothing will have changed in regards to the source of the electrons flowing through your meter but you will be buying something at a higher price, that you never agreed to purchase and you aren’t even receiving.

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