Construction starts on largest wind farm in NSW

CREDIT: Vestas Wind Systems A/S
CREDIT: Vestas Wind Systems A/S

Construction is set to begin on the 270 MW Sapphire Wind Farm in the New Year.

The $588 million project will become fully operational in the second half of 2018, and will be the largest wind farm in NSW.

The project will be realised through an equity partnership between CWP Renewables, the project developer, and funds managed and/or advised by global private markets investment manager Partners Group, with Partners Group taking a majority stake.

Managing director of CWP Renewables Alex Hewitt said the Sapphire Wind Farm follows the successful delivery of both Boco Rock Wind Farm in southern NSW and the $1.9 billion Fantanele Wind Farm, the largest onshore wind project in Europe.

“CWP Renewables has fully developed the project, won a competitively tendered 20-year electricity sale with the ACT Government, secured finance, and contracted the project’s construction and operations,” Mr Hewitt said.

Located between Glen Innes and Inverell, in the New England region of northern NSW, the project has contracted 100 MW of its 270 MW output to the ACT Government, which will help the ACT meet its 100 per cent renewable energy target by 2020.

The project will also deliver substantial economic benefits in the ACT and in the New England region.

“CWP Renewables will be delivering a range of economic development activities in the ACT, including developing a commercial microgrid at Canberra Institute of Technology’s (CIT’s) Bruce campus, establishing a wind farm operations centre in Canberra and contributing to education activities at the Australian National University (ANU) and CIT,” said Mr Hewitt.

A consortium between Vestas and Zenviron will deliver the project, with Vestas supplying and commissioning the tallest wind turbines in NSW, and Zenviron delivering the balance of plant.