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Work starts on 28 wind turbines capable of powering a quarter of Canberra homes

By Glynis Quinlan - 17 October 2017 7

Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury with local landowners at the site of one of the massive turbines at Crookwell 2 wind farm.

Construction has started on the foundations for 28 turbines at the Crookwell 2 wind farm which will collectively be able to power about 41,600 Canberra homes – or around one-quarter of Canberra households.

Standing 160 metres tall and 130 metres wide, the turbines will cost $125 million and produce around 304,000-megawatt hours of power per year.

Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury toured the site and inspected the foundation work for one of the massive turbines this morning, saying that the project benefits from advances in renewables technology.

Mr Rattenbury said that each of the farm’s 28 turbines will produce more power than all eight of the wind farm turbines combined at the Crookwell 1 wind farm which was completed in 1998.

“Clean energy is the industry of the future, and we’re proud that the ACT has some of the world’s most progressive renewable energy and climate change targets,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Once all four wind farms are complete, the ACT will have achieved its target of sourcing 100 per cent of our electricity from renewable sources.”

The site of one of the massive turbines at Crookwell.

The Crookwell 2 wind farm was a successful project in the 2016 Next Generation renewables auction and is estimated to be completed in September next year.

It will then begin generation, along with two other ACT feed-in-tariff supported wind farms, Sapphire and Hornsdale Stage 2. Stage 3 of the Hornsdale wind farm will begin generation in 2019.

The Crookwell 2 wind farm is being developed by Global Power Generation Australia (formerly Union Fenosa Australia), which moved its Asia-Pacific office to Canberra in May this year.

“This only reaffirms Canberra’s reputation as a growing hub for renewable energy projects,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Already there is around 2000 MW of renewable energy assets under management from Canberra, which is equivalent to nearly half of all the non-hydro renewable energy assets operating in Australia.”

Supported by ACT large feed-in tariffs, the Crookwell 2 wind farm is the last successful reverse auction project to commence construction. It is located 30 kilometres north-west of Goulburn.

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7 Responses to
Work starts on 28 wind turbines capable of powering a quarter of Canberra homes
dungfungus 9:15 am 19 Oct 17

Recently, CM Andrew Barr said “I have big things planned for Canberra”.

Perhaps one of these is a huge rainbow with the mother of all storage batteries at each end.

Lucy Baker 7:07 pm 18 Oct 17

What’s the backup power when there is no wind?

Garfield 1:08 pm 18 Oct 17

I’m still unclear on how the ACT actually reaches 100% renewable energy. I get that we’re going to end up paying for the generation of enough renewable energy to power the ACT but I don’t see how its all going to be generated at the right times. For example, early in the morning in winter before the sun comes up, people are turning on lights and heaters to get ready for work. If its still, the wind turbines aren’t generating power either. Doesn’t that mean that we’ll have to use coal or gas at those times? The way I see it the 100% target is an expensive vanity exercise because at this point in time its not possible for the entire grid to be powered by renewables as the storage technology isn’t there yet.

dungfungus 11:01 am 18 Oct 17

Glynis Quinlan said :

MERC600 said :

You mention “Supported by ACT large feed-in tariffs”. Would you be able to elaborate on this please. Regret I get a little lost with feed in tariffs, and subsidies, or are they the one thing.

Also perhaps a dollar figure that those 41,600 Canberra homes will be paying. Thanks

MERC600 In response to your questions, Shane Rattenbury’s office advises: “Through our purchasing agreements with wind and solar projects across Australia, renewable energy generators receive a set price for the renewable electricity they produce over a 20 year period. Because of the contract structure, our support payments to these renewable generators reduce as wholesale prices go up, buffering us from future price increases.”
In terms of dollar figures, they say: “The ACT Government remains confident the cost of achieving 100 per cent renewables will be in line with previous forecasts, peaking at less than $5.50 per household per week in 2020, and declining over time as wholesale market prices rise.”
I hope that helps. You can also find more information here: http://www.environment.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/987991/100-Renewal-Energy-Tri-fold-ACCESS.pdf

“support payments” = MASSIVE SUBSIDIES

Glynis Quinlan 10:53 am 18 Oct 17

MERC600 said :

You mention “Supported by ACT large feed-in tariffs”. Would you be able to elaborate on this please. Regret I get a little lost with feed in tariffs, and subsidies, or are they the one thing.

Also perhaps a dollar figure that those 41,600 Canberra homes will be paying. Thanks

MERC600 In response to your questions, Shane Rattenbury’s office advises: “Through our purchasing agreements with wind and solar projects across Australia, renewable energy generators receive a set price for the renewable electricity they produce over a 20 year period. Because of the contract structure, our support payments to these renewable generators reduce as wholesale prices go up, buffering us from future price increases.”
In terms of dollar figures, they say: “The ACT Government remains confident the cost of achieving 100 per cent renewables will be in line with previous forecasts, peaking at less than $5.50 per household per week in 2020, and declining over time as wholesale market prices rise.”
I hope that helps. You can also find more information here: http://www.environment.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/987991/100-Renewal-Energy-Tri-fold-ACCESS.pdf

dungfungus 5:55 pm 17 Oct 17

Some information here: http://www.environment.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/688275/150048-Renewable-energy-brochure-ACC.pdf

It appears that the average price paid to these generators (when the wind is blowing of course) is $89.00 per megawatt hour. This equates to about $1.79 per Canberra household per week which will increase to about $4.67 per Canberra household per week in 2020 when it is planned to have the ACT on 90% renewables (when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing). Massive subsidies embedded here.

ActewAGL are currently paying domestic generators (solar) 0.11c per kilowatt Hour.

MERC600 2:25 pm 17 Oct 17

You mention “Supported by ACT large feed-in tariffs”. Would you be able to elaborate on this please. Regret I get a little lost with feed in tariffs, and subsidies, or are they the one thing.

Also perhaps a dollar figure that those 41,600 Canberra homes will be paying. Thanks

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