‘Howling winds turn region into major clean energy exporter’

The following press release comes from the Clean Energy Council.

Howling winds turn region into major clean energy exporter

You may have noticed a chill in your bones this winter as cold winds lash the Great Divide. Fortunately, these same winds are driving record output from the region’s wind farms.

The Clean Energy Council’s Policy Director Russell Marsh said the four major wind farms of Capital, Cullerin Range, Woodlawn and Gunning collectively produced an average output of 116MW during June and July.

“That’s enough power for the average requirements of 155,000 typical homes, or seven times the power requirements of the 22,000 homes in the shires of Palerang, Upper Lachlan, Boorowa, Yass Valley and Goulburn/Mulwaree.

“It would also supply every one of Canberra’s 120,000 homes and has made the region a major clean energy exporter,” Mr Marsh said.

“The Cullerin project near Bredalbane’s 15 turbines have been working flat-out, with each turbine producing enough power for 1,500 homes.

“The figures from our electricity market operator show that we have had our heaters turned up!  During the first two months of winter, NSW’s average electricity demand was 9516MW, or 8.2% higher than the average of the previous 12 months.”

The clean power from these four wind farms has avoided almost 115,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions during these 2 months, equivalent to burning 29,000 tonnes of coal.”

“So this winter we can feel a little better about our electric heaters, knowing that your electrons are wind propelled,” Mr Marsh said.

The Clean Energy Council is the peak body for the clean energy sector. It is a not-for-profit organisation that provides a unified voice for more than 500 solar, wind, hydro, wave, bioenergy, geothermal, cogeneration and energy efficiency companies. It is funded through membership fees. http://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au.

For further information please contact: Lisa Taylor, Community Engagement Manager, Clean Energy Council, mobile +61 – 0488 023 348

Wind fact: Dealing with wind variability by Dr David Osmond, Senior Engineer, Windlab.

You may wonder how the system handles the variability in the wind output – because despite that chilly feeling, the winds have occasionally ceased this winter.

“As we power our homes and businesses, we cause the load across NSW to vary each day by about 5,000 MW. Compared to this variability the state’s 270MW of wind energy is quite small and easily absorbed into a system designed to cope with far more.

“Studies have shown that combining different sources of renewables, such as wind and solar, tends to reduce the overall variability – when the wind is not blowing the sun is often shining and vice versa,” said Dr Osmond.

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