Sapphire Wind Farm
The Sapphire Wind Farm is a large scale renewable energy project which provides enough clean energy to power around 115,000 homes and displaces 700,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. It is located in the Kings Plains area of New South Wales, 18 kilometres west of Glen Innes and 28 kilometres east of Inverell, New South Wales. The project which comprises 75 x Vestas V126 3.6 MW wind turbine generators. The proposed 75 wind turbines are 200 m from the ground to blade tip and occupy freehold land within and adjacent to agricultural areas. The wind farm site is located in the Local Government Areas (LGA) of Glen Innes Severn and Inverell.
When first announced in May 2009 the Project consisted of up to 178 turbines spread over 28 different properties. Prior to the submission of assessment documentation in 2011, the Project was revised to up to 159 turbines spread over 23 different properties to take into account additional modelling of the wind speed, consultation with nearby stakeholders and the consideration of different turbine models available to the market.
Following a modification in early 2016, the project now comprises 109 approved wind turbine locations with a maximum blade tip height of 200 m; 75 of these approved locations have been constructed.
For full assessment information on this project, visit the Department of Planning and Environment website.
The project has been delivered by the following contractors:
- Vestas (wind turbine supply and install) – vestas.com
- Zenviron (civil and electrical balance of plant) – zenviron.com
- TransGrid (substation) – transgrid.com.au
The construction program that delivered the wind farm to date were:
- Site Est. / Start of Construction Nov 2016
- Road and Substation Jan 2017
- First Foundation Feb 2017
- Delivery of Main Transformer Sep 2017
- WTG Component Delivery Sep 2017
- WTG Installation Sep 2017
- WTG Commissioning Nov 2017
- First Generation Dec 2017
- Completion Jun 2018
Sapphire Wind Farm is being developed by CWP Renewables.
CWP Renewables has grown from a joint-venture between two leading renewable energy developers; Continental Wind Partners and the Wind Prospect Group with over 20 years of renewable energy development experience around the world. CWP Renewables was founded in 2008 with a focus to develop wind farm projects in NSW, and since expanded to include solar PV in NSW, Queensland and South Australia.
CWP Renewables is a full-scope renewable energy developer with skills and experience ranging from site identification, wind monitoring, through to financing, construction and operations management. Leading team members which delivered projects at Continental Wind Partners and the Wind Prospect Group were recruited to form CWP Renewables. The team, based in Newcastle (NSW), Adelaide (SA) Canberra (ACT) along with two site offices at Boco Rock (NSW) and Taralga (NSW) has delivered in total over 2,400 MW of planning approvals and nearly 1,000 MW constructed to date.
Consultation and Local Opportunities
CWP Renewables have developed an online community consultation website to provide a regular source of information on the Sapphire Wind Farm for the local community and other interested parties.This can be accessed via the Sapphire Wind Farm website.
Community Consultative Committee
CWP’s Community Consultative Committee (CCC) is a direct link with the community: host landowners, community members, representatives from both Inverell and Glen Innes Severn Shire Councils, and project members. The come together for regular meetings to:
- Foster positive working relationships
- Provide an open forum for discussion
- Share information
- Respond to any questions or concerns.
More information on the CCC can be found at https://www.sapphirewindfarm.com.au/community/community-consultative-committee/, including committee member names, meeting minutes and upcoming meeting dates.
Of particular note, CWP Renewables are interested in hearing from skilled local service providers that have interest in working on or with the proponent to deliver the project. A space has been provided within the website for contractors to register their details, skills and interest, and is accessible via http://sapphirewindfarm.com.au/contractors
For more information on any of these matters, please contact – Edward Mounsey, Chief Operating Officer at CWP Renewables on 0428 998 311.
Community Benefit Fund
The Sapphire Wind Farm Community Fund S355 Committee aims to support initiatives that strengthen the local community through projects that deliver community benefits through the funding of grants within the boundaries of the Inverell Shire Council local Government area.
View information about potential funding for your organisation and past recipients on the Sapphire Wind Farm Community Fund page.
Sapphire Wind Farm Public Open Day 2018
The “National Wind Farm Open Day” has been developed by the Clean Energy Council and the Australian Wind Alliance. On Sunday 21st October 2018, Sapphire Wind Farm was one of ten Wind Farms opening to showcase their facilities to the general public.
Sapphire Wind Farm celebrated the day by providing coach tours of the Wind Farm and holding a family fun day at Victoria Park, Inverell. Coaches departed Victoria Park starting at 7:30am and ran every 30 minutes, with the last bus leaving Inverell at 3:30pm.
What’s next…Sapphire Solar Farm: Australia’s largest hybrid renewable energy project
Sapphire Solar Farm is an approved development co-located with the Sapphire Wind Farm.
As a c 200 MW hybrid solar and battery power facility, the planned development will represent Australia’s largest hybrid renewable energy project. The project will connect wind and solar generation with battery storage, expanding the credentials of New South Wales’ New England region as a leader in renewable energy.
When complete, the Sapphire Solar Farm would provide enough energy to power 68,000 average Australian homes a year. It would also play a vital role in helping the Australian Government meet the COP21 emissions target reduction of 26-28% by 2030 and support New South Wales’ climate change policy.
The facility perfectly complements the Sapphire Wind Farm allowing the up to 170 MW of merchant wind generation to also be stored and dispatched with solar energy.