Australia’s Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government announced in late April that it would increase the final round of its renewable energy auction to 200 MW, which will be enough to cover 100 per cent of the territory’s electricity needs by 2020. The ACT Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Simon Corbell said the switch to 100 per cent renewables was both achievable and affordable. “As leaders in the renewable energy field the ACT is reaping the environmental and economic benefits of decarbonisation,” Mr Corbell said.
So far the auctions have resulted in two completed projects and one currently under construction.
The 20 MW Royalla solar farm in the ACT and the 20 MW Coonooer Bridge wind farm in Victoria are operating. Coonooer Bridge was officially opened by Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Simon Corbell on 15 April, a great milestone for our industry and for the ACT as they move towards their ambitious renewable energy target. Read more
Updates from New South Wales – new projects and a new fact sheet
Last month saw two big announcements in NSW, with the approval of the Yass Valley Wind Farm and a construction announcement for White Rock.
Goldwind's White Rock Wind Farm started construction in late April. Goldwind is planning to erect 70x 2.5 MW turbines, making it larger than any wind farm currently operating in the state.
Up to 200 people are expected to be employed during construction of the project and a 10-15 person local service team will be needed once the wind farm is operating. Project investment will exceed $400 million. The Clean Energy Council put out a media release welcoming the commencement of construction.
Meanwhile the Yass Valley Wind Farm has 79 proposed wind turbines located along ridges. The project will bring jobs into the region and approximately $400 million of investment, and provide a community fund of $2500 per wind turbine, or up to $197,000 per annum if all turbines are built.
The NSW Department of Industry released a new wind farms fact sheet last month, available on their website.
The fact sheet is positive, stating up front that 'wind energy is a key part of the NSW energy mix and wind farms bring many benefits to regional communities', and also that 'there is no evidence to support the claim that wind farms are harmful to human health'. This fact sheet is a useful and independent resource for communities.
Australian Clean Energy Summit – speakers and program announced
Australia’s premier clean energy event, the Australian Clean Energy Summit, is coming up from 27 – 28 July in Sydney. The event brings together industry leaders, policymakers, financiers, service providers and business leaders for two days of informative sessions and networking events with the conference theme of ‘Lead. Innovate. Transform.’
The first speakers have been announced, who will be joined by politicians and industry leaders for Day One of the conference. Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel, Chair of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Jillian Broadbent and Australian Energy Market Commission Chair John Pierce are just some of the high profile speakers to join us, and more speaker announcements will be made in the coming weeks.
Early bird tickets are now on sale. For more information on the speaker, agenda or to register, visit www.cleanenergysummit.com.au