Sapphire Wind Farm operational

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The Sapphire 1 wind farm in regional NSW is now feeding renewable electricity into the national grid as part of the ACT’s 100 per cent renewable electricity target,.

Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Shane Rattenbury, said it’s a fantastic milestone in the ACT’s transition to 100 per cent renewable electricity.

“The ACT-supported part of Sapphire wind farm will power around 48,000 ACT homes – contributing about 12 per cent towards our renewable electricity target,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Once again the ACT is leading the way by reaching key milestones as we progress towards our ambitious clean energy future.”

Construction commenced in January 2017 on the 270MW Sapphire 1 wind farm, of which the ACT is supporting 100MW and includes 28 turbines. The wind farm is located 18km west of Glenn Innes in the Northern Tablelands of NSW. It was one of two successful projects in the ACT’s 2015 second wind auction. Once complete, the wind farm will be the largest in the state.

Mr Rattenbury said the wind farm will bring many local investment benefits.

“As we have seen with other renewables projects, there will be significant flow-on benefits to the Canberra region through this wind farm,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The wind farm is owned by CWP Renewables, which has so far developed over 1,400 megawatts of renewable energy capacity in Australia.

“As part of winning its ACT feed-in tariff entitlement, CWP Renewables moved its Asset and Operations Centre to Canberra, and has committed to employing at least 24 people by 2022.

“CWP Renewables is also establishing an investment model which gives the local community an opportunity to invest in the wind farm. This model has been successfully used in other ACT-supported wind farm developments in Australia.”

Mr Rattenbury said the ACT is well on track to achieving our goal of 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2020.

“Later this year Hornsdale Stage 2 and Crookwell 2 wind farms will begin generation, while in 2019 Hornsdale Stage 3 wind farm will see us reach this target.”

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