Origin Executive General Manager Energy Markets, Mr Frank Calabria said, “Cullerin Range is making an important contribution to increasing the supply of renewable electricity generation in NSW while helping to lower the State’s greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Cullerin Range has an extremely good wind resource and will provide enough renewable electricity to power almost 15,000 typical NSW homes and avoid the production of approximately 100,000 tonnes of carbon annually,” Mr Calabria added.
As Origin’s first self built wind farm, Cullerin Range is an important development within the company’s extensive renewable energy portfolio.
Origin has been an active participant in the wind sector since early this decade when Australia’s first commercial wind farm was opened at Codrington in Victoria – with the offtake fully contracted to Origin. As a significant investor in Australia’s renewable energy industry, Origin holds more than 2,000 MW of wind farm development options including a pipeline of 1,520 MW owned by the Company.
The wind farm assists in meeting Origin’s obligations under the Federal Government’s National Renewable Energy Target and contributes to the significant renewable energy positions held by Origin in Australia and New Zealand. The wind farm also supports customer demand for GreenPower as Origin is the largest green energy provider in Australia with more than 500,000 accredited GreenPower and GreenGas accounts.
Origin acquired the development rights to Cullerin Range from Epuron in January 2008 and following successful completion of construction, the wind farm underwent commissioning between late May and early July this year. All 15 of the wind farm’s 2 MW REpower wind turbines are now fully operational, exporting power to Country Energy’s 132 kV Goulburn to Yass distribution line, which passes through the northern section of the site.
Construction of the wind farm was a major logistical exercise involving the shipment and delivery of blades, each up to 45 metres in length, from Germany. The turbine towers, which were manufactured in Portland, Victoria, were assembled in three sections with a hub height of 80 metres. In addition to the wind farm itself, building involved engineering activities such as onsite roads to access the turbine sites, and the hardstand areas for the turbine construction.
“Safety is our priority at Cullerin Range and we have conducted rigorous onsite assessments of all safety systems. The turbines have been engineered to protect them from lightning strikes and a detailed earthing design has been incorporated within the tower and foundation. The wind farm has the capability to shut itself down should onsite conditions require and each nacelle is fitted with duplicate sensors to detect wind speed and direction,” Mr Calabria said.
The $95 million Cullerin Range Wind Farm project, at the height of construction activity, employed more than 100 people on site with 60 of these from the local area and is contributing significant investment into the local economy. A number of people in the local area will be involved in the maintenance and operation of the wind farm.
Origin also has a 30 per cent interest in the hot-rock geothermal joint venture with Geodynamics as well as its SLIVER solar photovoltaic development which aims to increase the availability of solar power by dramatically reducing the amount of silicon required in solar panels.
Origin welcomes green light on renewable energy
Origin, Australia’s leading integrated energy company, has welcomed passage of the Government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) legislation to deliver 20 per cent renewable electricity by 2020.
Origin Executive General Manager, Policy and Sustainability, Mr Carl McCamish said the RET legislation was a great start in providing a cohesive policy framework to position Australia for a lower carbon future.
“Along with the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) and the right support for investment in electricity transmission, the RET scheme will be an important factor in whether companies invest in the infrastructure required to deliver carbon emissions reductions in Australia,” said Mr McCamish.
“The passing of the RET legislation provides a green light to progress with a pipeline of renewable energy projects.
“Our view is that in order to meet this target a substantial amount of wind – potentially 6,000 MW – will need to be built across the industry, which will drive investments in the vicinity of $12 billion to $18 billion over the next decade.
“We must also continue to develop promising new technologies including hot rock geothermal and solar so that we realise their full potential as fuels for the future,” he added.
“The RET should nevertheless be seen as a transitional measure. In the longer term, the CPRS is the lowest cost way to drive investment in cleaner technologies. We encourage all political parties to negotiate a workable agreement to ensure that the CPRS is passed as soon as possible,” Mr McCamish said.
As a significant investor in Australia’s renewable energy industry, Origin has a 30 per cent interest in the hot-rock geothermal joint venture with Geodynamics as well as its SLIVER solar photovoltaic development which aims to increase the availability of solar power by dramatically reducing the amount of silicon required in solar panels. Origin is the largest g reen energy provider in Australia with more than 500,000 accredited GreenPower and GreenGas accounts.
About Origin Energy
Origin Energy is Australasia’s leading integrated energy company focused on gas and oil exploration and production, power generation and energy retailing. Listed in the ASX top 20 the company has approximately 4,000 employees, is a leading producer of gas in eastern Australia, is the largest owner and developer of gas-fired electricity generation in Australia and is a leading wholesaler and retailer of energy. The company services more than 3.5 million electricity, natural gas and LPG customers across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. Origin’s strategic positioning and portfolio of assets provide flexibility, stability and significant opportunities for growth in the ever changing energy industry. Through Australia Pacific LNG, its 50:50 incorporated joint venture with ConocoPhillips, Origin is developing one of Australia’s largest CSG to LNG projects based on Australia’s largest CSG reserves base. In New Zealand, Origin is the major shareholder in Contact Energy, the country’s leading integrated energy company, operating geothermal, thermal and hydro generation facilities and servicing electricity, gas and LPG customers across both the North and South islands. Origin also operates several oil and gas projects in New Zealand and is one of the largest holders of petroleum exploration acreage in the country. Origin has a strong focus on ensuring the sustainability of its operations, is the largest green energy retailer in Australia and has significant investments in renewable energy technologies.