Regulator approves accreditation for Australia's biggest wind farm | RenewEconomy

Regulator approves accreditation for Australia’s biggest wind farm

Clean Energy Regulator gives approval for accreditation of Australia’s biggest wind farm.

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Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator says it has approved the accreditation under the Renewable Energy Target of Stockyard Hill Wind Farm in Victoria which will be the biggest in Australia with a total capacity of 531.9 megawatts.

The approval announced on Friday means that the Stockyard wind farm means it will be able to claim renewable energy certificates once it starts generating – expected later this year. It is a formality that is rarely announced, but its sheer scale has obviously moved the CER to make a statement.

Stockyard Hill will be owned and operated by global wind turbine manufacturer Goldwind, but is contracted to selling both its electricity output and the LGCs at what was than viewed to be a landmark low price of the low $50s/MWh when it was signed in 2017, far below average wholesale prices in recent years.

When the wind farm – located about 35km west of Ballarat – is completed and commissioned later this year, it will overtake the 453MW Coopers Gap wind farm, contracted to AGL Energy, as the biggest in the country. Coopers Gap has recently installed its last turbine and yet to reach full output.

Both wind farms will be dwarfed by the planned 1,000MW MacIntyre wind complex, also in Queensland, which is to be built by Spanish renewable energy giant Acciona after signing a contract with state owned clean energy generator CleanCo.

The Clean Energy Regulator has it has accredited a total of 1.3 gigawatts of capacity from 94 renewable energy power stations under the large scale renewable energy target so far in 2020. These projects are expected to generate over 2,600 gigawatt hours this year, which is enough to power over 460,000 households.

It says 2020 is expected to be a record year for additional renewable electricity generation, with large-scale generation in 2020 being some 6,000 to 8,000 gigawatt hours higher than in 2019. However, much of this represents investment committed in prior years, and the amount of new investment has plunged by half, according to reports by the Clean Energy Council, the Reserve Bank, and many private analysts.

The CER says there is now 24GW of accredited capacity in the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target, with another six gigawatts being tracked in its pipeline of which 3.5GW is currently under construction and 2.3GW has signed power purchase agreements.

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