Just under half of the wind turbines that will make up the 224MW Bango wind farm in the New South Wales Southern Tablelands have been fully installed, the project’s developer has confirmed, and 10 are fully operational.
In an update on the $500 million project this week, CWP Renewables said 22 of the 46 wind turbines were now fully erected at the site 30km north of Yass, and 75% of all works completed.
CWP Renewables project manager Jonathan Post said a further seven towers had been built and were awaiting turbine blades, while another 14 had their first two tower sections installed.
“Turbines in the western cluster are now undergoing progressive hold-point testing, which will see the number of turbines energised and then generating electricity increase over four stages,” Post said.
Hold-point testing is a mandatory testing regime coordinated with – in this case – TransGrid and approved by the Australian Energy Market Operator. For wind farms, it checks the performance of turbines and the capacity of the grid to take up the energy they generate.
As RenewEconomy has reported, this is not always a smooth or timely process for wind or solar farm developers, particularly as more and more large-scale projects join the grid.
Australia’s biggest wind farm to date, the 530MW Stockyard Hill facility near Ballarat in Victoria, passed its first “hold point” test in July of this year, more than six months after completing construction of the last of its 149 turbines.
The state and federal governments are working to improve the efficiency of the process, however, largely by bolstering existing transmission infrastructure and adding new state interconnection links.
In NSW, the state government in June announced a commitment of $380 million to help accelerate the development of new grid connection infrastructure for its first dedicated renewable energy zone in the Central-West Orana region.
The Bango project was in 2019 reported to be the first in the world to use General Electric’s Cypress 5.3MW turbines, which at that time ranked amongst the largest onshore wind turbines in production, as well as to be installed so far in Australia.
CWP seems to like to aim big for its projects – it is also leading the huge Asian Renewable Energy Hub consortium in the Pilbara region of W.A. which has grown in ambition from 15GW of new wind and solar to 26GW.
It is also a chief proponent of the even more massive $100 billion Western Green Energy Hub – comprising 50 gigawatts of wind and solar capacity – proposed for the southern coast of Western Australia to create millions of tonnes of green hydrogen for use in Australia and for export.
Once completed, Bango wind farm will generate up to 748GW hours of renewable energy a year – enough to power around 120,000 homes.