Sapphire Wind Farm May Expand To Incorporate Solar Power

Wind farm to incorporate solar panels

Image: Seagul

CWP Renewables has reportedly submitted details to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for an expansion of Sapphire Wind Farm to include 200MW of solar power capacity.

The Inverell Times reports the idea of adding solar first came about during a Community Consultative Committee meeting last year and since then, discussions have been held with landowners concerning suitable sites that are not prime agricultural land.

Should this go ahead, the solar farm would be able to generate enough electricity to supply 50-60,000 homes.

The Inverell region has become a hotbed of renewable energy activity.

“Between the Sapphire wind/solar farms and the White Rock wind/solar farms plus the Glen Innes Wind Farm, all within a kilometre of each other, this small area will become one of the biggest complexes of renewable power in Australia or elsewhere,” states the Inverell Times.

Goldwind’s White Rock Solar Farm is a 20 MW solar PV project located adjacent to the northern end of White Rock Wind Farm. Construction commenced on the $41.4 million facility last month, which is expected to generate around 44,000 megawatt hours of electricity in its first year of operation.

The first turbines at White Rock Wind Farm were connected to TransGrid’s network last month. Once fully operational, the wind farm will boast 175MW capacity.

Construction of the 270MW Sapphire Wind Farm commenced in January this year. The site is 28km east of Inverell and 18km west of Glen Innes in the Kings Plains area. When complete, the wind aspect alone will provide enough clean energy to power around 115,000 homes and avoid 700,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

Turbine components started to arrive last month and the first turbines are expected to be erected in September. Construction is scheduled to be completed in the second half of next year.

100 MW of the wind farm’s 270 MW output has been contracted to the ACT Government and CWP is also gauging local interest in investing directly into the wind project.

“With enough interest, the Sapphire Wind Farm will look into the possibility of pioneering Australia’s first community investment into a large scale wind farm,” states CWP.

Information sessions are being held across the region September 4 to September 6 in Inverell, Wellingrove, Moree, Glen Innes, Tamworth and Moree. Further details of the events are available here.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. Andrew Morgan says

    Good news . This puts economics into regional towns which have suffered population declines for decades. This will get the “dig up rocks and burn them” people running for cover. if anyone disagrees to this development then i can organise a welcoming party in town and i am sure we can show the good things that are going on and just how positive this is.

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