Construction to commence on CWP Renewables 260MW Sapphire wind farm

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government has awarded developer CWP Renewables’ Sapphire Wind Farm a feed-in tariff of A$89.10 per MW/h for 100MW of capacity to power nearly 50,000 homes, giving the go ahead for construction. CWP Renewables is a joint venture between Wind Prospect and Continental Wind Partners.

Sapphire, located near Inverell in northern New South Wales (NSW), achieved State and Commonwealth Approval in June 2013 and December 2014 respectively for up to 159 wind turbines. Construction will commence later this year.

Sapphire is one of two winners of the ACT Government’s second wind auction, which will deliver regional investment benefits worth A$100 million over 20 years. CWPRL will relocate its asset management operations from Newcastle to the ACT, investing A$34 million in the development of an ACT-based asset and operations management centre for its growing national and international generation fleet.

Alex Hewitt, Managing Director of CWP Renewables, said: “Construction of the 260MW Sapphire Wind Farm will generate local jobs and investment both in the ACT and in the New England region of NSW. Our ACT investment package includes new partnerships with learning institutions and smart technology providers, and an investment opportunity offer to the community.”

ACT Environment Minister, Simon Corbell, added: “CWP will be the third wind developer and asset manager to base their operations here in Canberra making our city a major hub for wind energy innovation and investment.

“CWP Renewables will invest A$3 million in a world-leading zero carbon micro-grid to be developed at CIT Bruce. CWP also will invest A$35 million to develop an Asia-Pacific micro-grid export hub in the ACT. In a win for local companies, the developers will give preference to ACT-based businesses when awarding contracts for the construction of the wind farm – worth at least A$5 million.”