Plans approved for New South Wales hybrid project

AUSTRALIA: Developer CWP Renewables has received planning approval to expand its 270MW Sapphire wind farm in New South Wales into a renewable energy hub.

Construction of the Sapphire project is due to be completed by the end of the year
Construction of the Sapphire project is due to be completed by the end of the year

Construction at the 75-turbine site began in January 2017 and the wind project is due to be fully operational in "the coming months", the developer stated.

The New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment has now approved CWP’s plans to add a 200MW solar and storage at the site in the north-east of the state.

CWP will start building the solar and battery infrastructure in early 2019 and expects construction to take about 14 months, it stated.

Ed Mounsey, SWP’s head of development, said: "Combining wind and solar together with battery storage will allow large-scale, dispatchable renewable energy to be exported from the region."

He claimed that when complete, it will be the largest wind-solar-storage hybrid project in the world.

In Queensland, the terroitory to the north of New South Wales, plans have also been approved for Lacour Energy’s Clarke Creek and for Windlab’s Kennedy projects, which would both include wind, solar PV and storage and could be up-to 1.2GW each.

Solar and storage have been added to other wind farms in Australia as well.

Gullen Range in New South Wales features a 10MW solar PV plant next to the 165.5MW wind farm. It began full operations in February.

Further plans for hybrid combinations of wind with solar and/or storage have also been proposed.

In August, developer Infigen bought a 25MW/52MWh lithium-ion battery to add to its 278.5MW Lake Bonney wind farm in South Australia.

Meanwhile, Neoen’s plans for its Kaban Green Power Hub in Queensland have been approved, and the developer started construction at its Bulgana Green Power Hub – a 194MW wind farm with 20MW Tesla battery – in May.

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