Australian renewable energy developer Windlab says its newest operational wind farm, the 19.4MW Coonooer Bridge facility in Victoria, has achieved an operating capacity factor of nearly 50 per cent – the highest of any wind farm in Australia over the past three months.
Data released by Windlab shows Coonooer Bridge, opened earlier this year, achieved an operating capacity factor of 48.9 per cent in the second quarter from the start of April to the end of June.
The high output explains why Coonooer Bridge is known as the cheapest operating wind farm in Australia. It was built after winning a tender held by the ACT government, bidding a price of $81.50/MWh, fixed, for 20 years. That equates to a current price of around $65/MWh, according to some estimates.
(That price has since been beaten by the yet-to-be built second stage of the Hornsdale project in South Australia, and will likely be beaten again when the winners of the next tender are announced shortly).
Windlab CEO Roger Price said the performance from Coonoer Bridge was as expected.
“When we found Coonooer we knew we had located an exceptional wind resource. Maybe the best in Australia. It is very pleasing to see the project operating at this level,” he said in a statement. “The best wind means the lowest priced generation.”
Coonooer Bridge also has a unique community ownership structure with 33 neighbours of the wind farm holding shares in the facility.
Windlab, which was spun out of the CSIRO, identified the project with its atmospheric and wind energy prediction tools known as Windscape.
The company says the 30MW Kiata wind farm, which recently received development approval and secured an off take with the Victorian government, is expected to rival Coonooer bridge for performance. It will start construction later this year.