Wind power on the way for NSW: Largest wind farm to begin construction

Wind farm at dusk

The largest wind farm in New South Wales is due to begin construction at the tail end of this year after reaching financial close. The Rye Park Wind Farm (RPWF) is set to produce 396MW of power with its 66 wind turbine set-up. 

Although construction will begin later this year, the RPWF isn’t scheduled to be fully operational until 2024. Owned by Tilt Renewables, which itself was acquired by leading clean power provider Powering Australian Renewables earlier this year, the RPWF will be the largest operating wind farm in New South Wales generating the equivalent of enough power for 215,000 homes annually.

Located near Yassin in the state’s Southern Tablelands, the RPWF will offset 960,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, which is the equivalent to removing 300,000 cars from the road.

If operational today, the 396MW RPWF would be the second-largest wind farm project in Australia, overtaking the Sapphire Wind Farm also located in New South Wales. The largest wind farm in the country is in Macarthur, Victoria and has been fully operational since 2013.

New South Wales currently has 28 large-scale renewable energy projects due to begin construction soon, totalling 3383MW of power. Australia as a whole has more than 100 such projects in the pipeline, having reached financial close with construction approaching. The projects will bring 10183MW of renewable energy generation capacity to the country. 

Where will the wind energy be used?

55% of the wind farm’s output has been contracted on a 15-year agreement with Newcrest Mining Limited to power its Cadia gold mine. The remainder of the clean energy produced may be used to aid NSW in the replacement of energy generation that will be lost by the closure of the Lidell Power Station by 2023. 

The project will be a significant boost to Australia’s renewable energy production, significantly increasing the generation of wind power. 2020 saw wind power account for 35.9% of all renewables used in the country, and just shy of 10% of total electricity generation.

Offshore wind farms may soon be headed for Australia, with legislation introduced to parliament on Thursday that would allow the 2.2GW Star of the South wind project to proceed. The project would be the first offshore wind farm in Australia, with the potential to provide 20% of Victoria’s total power on its own. 

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