The Canberra Times reported that a 91 megawatt, $200 million Crookwell wind farm has won the right to be paid feed-in tariff grants under the government’s reverse auction process. The wind farm will be built by Spanish-owned Company Union Fenosa Wind Australia.
The project is due to be completed in September 2018, with 28 turbines able to power 41,600 Canberra homes. Mr. Corkwell said the farm would be paid $86.60/MWh for the energy it feeds into the grid, which he said was a record low for New South Wales wind farms. The other successful bidder was the Hornsdale Wind Farm, which is being built by Neone International SAS and Megawatt Capital north of Adelaide.
The Hornsdale project has already been successful in the 1st and 2nd rounds of ACT wind auctions and they are building the capacity for 309 megawatts in total. So, this means that the South Australian project will provide a large chunk of ACTY’s renewable energy by the year 2020. A third stage of the development for the Hornsdale farm will see it with enough energy to power a further 56,000 homes in Canberra at a fixed 20-year price to the government of $73/megawatt-hour.
These two wind farms will lift the renewable energy percentage to 100% by 2020 and secure the achievement of the emission reduction goals in that year.
The New South Wales Government said the $200 million Crookwell wind farm would directly support 80 construction jobs and 14 ongoing operational jobs. The Crookwell farm is the second New South Wales wind farm to win the feed-in tariff from ACTY. The other, the Sapphire Wind farm in New England, secured a 100-megawatt feed in tariff in March, and is expected to begin construction this year.
Earlier this year, there was a report that the move to 100% renewable will cost ACT taxpayers an extra $117 million per year in 2020 when Canberra is expected to use about 3 million megawatt hours. The average household will spend roughly $290 extra every year in 2020, based on renewable costing about 40-megawatt hour more than non-renewable sources. Mr. Corbell said that those costs will be offset by other government programs, reducing Canberra’s household demand for energy.