Welcome

The NSW Energy Cluster project is a unique large utility scale new renewable energy development proposed for the New England area of NSW. The project is combination of up to three wind farm sites and a single solar PV generation facility along with battery storage co-located at the connection point. The project is located in the Tamworth - Armidale area. Subject to final turbine selection, solar and battery storage sizing, the installed capacity is expected to be up to a combined total of approximately 400MW-480MW of electrical energy. The project is in the preliminary design phase having been the subject of a detailed Feasibility Study confirming its viability. At this early stage project details remain limited and subject to change. This web site will be updated as information comes to hand.

The developer has partnered with a major Australian energy retailer generator for this project and would not be embarking on the detailed design and planning approval process without the support of this partner. The partner is jointly progressing the planning application so that once planning  approval is secured and market conditions allow, a recommendation can be progressed to their Board of Directors for a final investment and build decision, ideally in Q1, 2019.

tIMELine

  • 2015 - Resource assessment.
  • 2016 - Feasibility assessment.
  • Q2 2017 – Local consultation.
  • Q3 2017 – Installation of on site and remote sensing.
  • Q3 2017 – Preparation of Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA) with a request for Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs).
  • Q2 2017 –Q2 2018 – Preparation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIS) and Development Application (DA) for lodgement with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE).
  • Q3 2018 – Exhibition of EIS and DA for community and stakeholder comment.
  • Q4 2018 – Review and approval from DPE.
  • Q1 2019 – Final Investment Decision.
  • 2019 – Construction.
  • 2020 - Operation

PROJECT BENEFITS

  • Generating Capacity: up to 400MW-480MW.
  • Greenhouse Gas Savings/Year: approximately 2 million tonnes CO2 equivalent.
  • Homes Powered: up to approximately 286,000 to 344,000 homes.
  • Capital Cost: up to approximately AUD$800m to AUD$1billion.
  • Up to 280-300 FTE positions during construction.
  • Up to 50-100 ongoing direct FTE positions.
  • Local economy direct jobs up to 180.
  • Indirect jobs created in Australia up to 800.
  • Australian spend estimated at AUD$600-$800m.
  • NSW has 11.8% of national wind capacity in Australia but only 6% renewables penetration.
  • the NSW Energy Cluster could lift the NSW share by up to 40%-50%.

CONTACTS

All contact at this stage should be directed by email to;

info@nswenergycluster.net

Closer to the public exhibition planning phase of the project, please watch this page  and tab for details on the planning process.

If approved construction details like over dimension, over weight traffic movements, major project milestones, open days and other construction news and updates will also be posted here.

The FAQ section has the answers to a number of common queries with respect to Wind Farms. Click here.

PLANNING

Updates on planning matters related to the project will be posted on the Planning Page.

This will include the links to any State Planning Planning Permit applications, Exhibition requirements and pre and post construction monitoring required under various permit conditions and management plans. The NSW Govt New Wind Energy Framework can be viewed here.

The Standard Secretary's Environmental Assessment Requirements or SEARs can be viewed here.

The FAQ's for the NSW Governments New Wind Energy Framework released in December 2016 can be viewed here.

THE INDIVIDUAL SITE PAGES REMAIN UNDER CONSTRUCTION AND WORK IN PROGRESS.

 There have been significant advances in wind turbine, solar PV and battery storage technology in the last few years with costs falling significantly. The latest wind turbine technology for example offers vastly superior blade design and uses the latest materials lowering the noise profile considerably despite the increased height and rotor sweep area. The Senvion 3.6MW 140 EBC wind turbine is an illustration of this.

Other Wind Energy References

Clean Energy Council

 The Clean Energy Council provides a number of fact sheets  and researched reports & publications on topical issues with respect to Wind Energy in Australia such as health, decommissioning, property price impacts, benefits, community engagement and suggested best practice guidelines. These can be viewed here

wind farms a guide for communities

A recommended publication for communities and or neighbours new to a wind farm can be viewed here. Some Councils use Community Engagement Committees (CEC) as a key part of their approach. Details on the sample CEC are available here.   

 

benefits of wind energy in australia

 Wind energy is the least expensive form of large-scale renewable energy generation capable of meeting Australia's international, national and State based targets. Wind farms can help farmers generate vital extra income, make better use of land, and ensure against market downturns. Wind farms also provide jobs.

New wind energy farmework

 Under State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) 2011, electricity generating works including renewable energy proposals such as wind farms with a capital cost of more than $30 million (or $10 million in an environmentally sensitive area) are considered as State Significant Development under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

You can link to the Major Projects Register managed by NSW Planning & Envirnoment here.

Location

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