16 June 2023

New wind farm to boost Canberra's renewable electricity supply

| Ian Bushnell
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wind farm turbines

The Berrybank Stage 2 wind farm will generate 390 GWh of clean energy per year, equivalent to the electricity consumption of 71,000 households. Photo: GPG.

Another wind generator has come on stream to bolster the ACT’s renewable energy supply.

The government has announced the Berrybank Stage 2 wind farm in Victoria’s Western Plains is now in operation after it struck a 10-year deal with Global Power Generation (GPG) in 2020 to supply the Territory with renewable electricity.

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Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reductions, Shane Rattenbury said this milestone strengthened the ACT’s commitment to 100 per cent renewable electricity.

“Berrybank 2 is one of 13 large-scale renewable energy generators that are spread across the country, providing the ACT with zero emissions energy at low prices now and into the future,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The windfarm has a total capacity of 109 MW (megawatts) from 26 wind turbines, which will generate 390 GWh (gigawatt hours) of clean energy per year, equivalent to the electricity consumption of 71,000 households.”

Mr Rattenbury said as Canberra grew, it would need more electricity as gas was phased out.

“The Berrybank wind farm will boost our renewable electricity supply and help power an all-electric Canberra,” he said.

Mr Rattenbury said the price stability the ACT was now enjoying compared with other jurisdictions was the result of decisions made over a decade ago to implement a 100 per cent renewable electricity target.

“These policy decisions have largely protected the ACT community from the extreme price volatility in wholesale electricity prices that other jurisdictions are facing,” he said.

The GPG deal followed Round 5 of the ACT’s Renewables Reverse Auction, which had helped bring in more than $500 million worth of investment to the region, making Canberra a centre for high-skilled renewable sector jobs, Mr Rattenbury said.

“The addition of the Berrybank 2 wind farm will ensure Canberra’s continued access to affordable and reliable zero-emissions energy.”

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The deal also included the 20 MWh Battery Energy Storage System at the Queanbeyan substation that has been operating since November to support the ACT distribution grid, in partnership with TransGrid.

GPG is a joint venture of Spanish multi-national Naturgy Energy Group SA (75 per cent) and the Kuwait Investment Authority (25 per cent).

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For those that don’t believe renewables and agriculture compete for land here’s an example from our very own backyard: https://solarshare.com.au/solar-farm-project/greenfield-project

Right next to a vineyard and the truffle farm yet using up this land doesn’t displace our food supply?

People are also dreaming when they think renewables can run happily in the desert and magically gets teleported to their devices on the east coast. There is huge losses of fidelity transporting electricity at such long distances and the sporadic supply of sun and wind doesn’t help create stability in response to peak demand. And not to mention Solar doesn’t work well when caked in dust which funnily enough happens a lot in the desert. So you need a worker going out each day in 40 degree heat wiping the panels down, replacing faulty parts. Where are these workers going to live? Is it fifo each morning and night?

That’s your example of renewables taking up valuable agricultural land? LOL, massive land take right next to a vineyard and a truffle farm?

You forgot right next to an AFP facility, a defence firing range and wedged against a highway. Yes, I’m sure the unexploded ordnance would make for great farming land.

The rest of your comment is just pure ignorance, no one said anything about deserts except you and the issues you attempt to raise are not major and all factored into the viability of any facility regardless.

Although I’m still not sure why you think this is a big issue. Australia produces significantly more food than we use. Last year we exported $70billion in total agricultural exports. For someone who loves property investment as much as yourself, why are you worried about landholders making the best return from their investments?

The wind farm is not even located in the ACT, how is it “boosting” our supply? Did they also mention it is reducing our food supply as well? Wind and solar occupy land that would otherwise be used for agriculture. It’s a wildly inefficient technology where a country like Singapore would need one third of it’s land allocated to renewables which is impossible and so too Canberra unless you line them up along Mt Majura to Mt Ainslie!

Most of the ACT’s electricity is generated outside the ACT.

The ag sector uses 55% of Australia’s land area. Renewable energy will use less than 0.25% by mid-century.

Agriculture & RE are not mutually exclusive land uses.

Yeah right I’ll wait until I see a field of wheat and solar panels running simultaneously before I’m convinced!

Sam Oak, this is a story about a wind farm. They don’t really take up a large amount of space and you don’t have to go far to see them colocated with other agricultural use.

And I’m not sure why you think they have to be in the ACT? We have these things called transmission lines and a national grid.

Wouldn’t it also be smart to place things like solar farms in the areas that get the most sun? Areas that tend to not be as useful for food and other agricultural uses?

Hmm, wonder where we could find such areas in a massive, dry country like Australia….

Chewy if you are thinking deserts there is one small problem with your theory. How are they going to transmit it from the middle of nowhere to the cities? Might the fact that no solar farms exist there currently be a clue that it doesn’t work that way?

How are they going to transmit it from the middle of nowhere to the cities?

Did you even read my last comment?

“We have these things called transmission lines and a national grid.”

Obviously the cheapest, most viable areas are used first but you’re the one saying that the land for future facilities doesn’t exist or must take up valuable agricultural land.

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