Price of wind power drops to new low

Hornsdale Wind Farm
Hornsdale Wind Farm

The price of wind power in Australia has dropped, making wind power the country’s cheapest new electricity source.

South Australia’s Hornsdale Wind Farm (Stage 3) has agreed to sell its electricity to the ACT government for $73/MWh, fixed for 20 years. The price for Crookwell Wind Farm of $86.60/MWh is a record low for a wind farm in New South Wales.

ACT Environment and Climate Change Minister Simon Corbell announced the results of the latest reverse auction tender on Tuesday, with 109MW of capacity going to stage 3 of the Hornsdale wind project and 91MW going to the Crookwell 2 wind farm in southern New South Wales.

In addition to supplying low cost renewable energy to Canberra, the wind farms will also be financing the roll-out of 36MW of distributed battery storage in more than 5000 ACT homes and businesses under the Government’s Next Generation Storage program.

Crookwell 2 Wind Farm, developed by Union Fenosa Wind Australia, due for completion in September 2018 and located 15km south-east of Crookwell (30km north-west of Goulburn), will bring $125 million in benefits to the ACT and region. The farm comprises 28 turbines and will provide enough energy to power 41,600 Canberra homes.

Hornsdale Wind Farm Stage 3, developed by Neoen International SAS and Megawatt Capital, is located in South Australia, around 150km north of Adelaide. This is the third stage of the wind farm, which was also successful in the first and second ACT Wind Auctions, taking the total ACT supported capacity to 309MW. This stage will bring $55 million in economic benefits to the ACT, comprises 35 turbines and will provide enough energy to power 56,600 Canberra homes.

“Both projects are providing extensive investment packages for the ACT economy, with over $180 million to fund research, innovation, jobs and education in the renewable energy sector here in Canberra,” Mr Corbell said.

“The proximity of the Crookwell Wind Farm to the ACT means many flow-on benefits for local trades.

“It has been four years since the ACT Government released Climate Change Action Plan 2. Since that time we have systematically put in place the renewable energy and energy efficiency programs required to achieve our target of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020.”

Mr Corbell said Canberra has established an international reputation for its sustainable energy policy.

“The ACT is attracting international business investment and creating exciting new collaboration opportunities for local start-ups and entrepreneurs,” Mr Corbell said.

“The economic benefits that will flow from successful reverse auction projects now total more than $500 million. This will ensure Canberra remains at the centre of this industry as it grows nationally and internationally. With four international wind companies establishing their headquarters here, the future jobs growth potential is enormous.”