Production from the first two turbines of the 200MW Silverton wind farm near Broken Hill has begun, with the project scheduled to be completed by the middle of the year.
So far, 18 of the 58 turbines have been erected for the $450 million project, which has been a major logistical test given its distance from ports and delivery of the major pieces of hardware such as the turbine blades and nacelles.
The first production from the first two turbines was exported to the grid this past weekend, company officials say.
Silverton is the first major greenfield project of the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF), a partnership between AGL and QIC to own and develop wind and solar projects.
This video will give an idea of the remoteness in the area, some of the issues transporting the major equipment, and erecting the towers and using helicopters to string the transmission wires.
The project is expected to provide 150 jobs at the peak of construction, many of whom worked on the 53MW Broken Hill solar plant, which PARF also operates, and is located about 25kms away.
Silverton was to be the largest wind farm in NSW, but by the time it gets to 200MW it will likely have already been overtaken by the 270MW Sapphire wind farm in northern NSW, which recently started delivering its first 100MW to the ACT government’s 100 per cent renewable program.
Silverton and the 453MW Cooper’s Gap wind farm in Queensland are listed by AGL as part of the response to the closure to the Liddell coal generator in NSW and together are estimated to have a cost of $62/MWh.
The next three stages of the Liddell replacement will include a 300MW solar farm, battery storage, demand management, an upgrade to the Bayswater coal generator, a new 250MW gas plant, and further storage and renewables projects.
The Silverton wind farm is located in the Barrier Ranges about 25kms west of Broken Hill and will feature 58 GE 3.43-130 wind turbines.