Coonooer Bridge claims highest output of Australian wind farms

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Newly completed Coonooer Bridge wind farm achieves capacity factor of nearly 50 per cent in the first full three months since it began operations.

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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.

coonooer bridge wind farmData 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.

 

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1 Comment
  1. Les Johnston 3 years ago

    This is actually a great story as it highlights the profitability potential of wind farms under a community ownership structure. Instead of communities being opposed to wind farms, they increase the profitability of their farm and its resilience under climate change.

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