The 260 MW Sapphire Wind Farm in northern NSW is the fifth, and final, successful wind energy project from the ACT’s two reverse auctions for wind energy.

“Sapphire has been awarded a feed-in-tariff of $89.10 per MWh for 100 MW capacity. This project will power 48,600 Canberra homes, providing a clean, sustainable energy alternative to gas and coal-fired power generation,” ACT Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Simon Corbell said.

“As part of the successful bid, the ACT Government has secured tremendous local investment benefits, totalling $100 million over 20 years, which will benefit all Canberrans,” he added.

The wind farm will be developed by CWP Renewables and is expected to bring more than $100 million in economic benefits. The company will relocate its asset management operations from Newcastle to the ACT – investing $34 million in the development of an ACT-based asset and operations management centre.

Mr Corbell said CWP Renewables is the third wind developer and asset manager to base its operations in Canberra – turning the city into a major hub for wind energy innovation and investment.

“CWP Renewables will invest $3 million in a world-leading zero carbon microgrid to be developed at CIT Bruce. This forms part of a $33 million investment in local microgrid initiatives with strong trades training and research integration.

“In a win for local companies, the developers will give preference to ACT-based businesses when awarding contracts for the construction of the wind farm – worth at least $5 million.”

Alex Hewitt, Managing Director of CWP Renewables, said his company was delighted to have won the ACT wind auction.

“The ACT purchase of renewable energy from Sapphire Wind Farm has allowed us to commence construction of what will be the largest wind farm in NSW,” Mr Hewitt said.

“Our ACT investment package includes new partnerships with learning institutions and smart technology providers, and an investment opportunity offer to the community.”

Mr Corbell said that by the time Sapphire Wind Farm starts producing energy in April 2018, ACT will be sourcing 80 per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources and will be well on its way to achieving 90 per cent renewable generation by 2020.

“The ACT’s pioneering reverse auction process ensures that Canberrans pay low prices for electricity while receiving maximum local investment benefits. Both Wind Auction II winners have delivered on these fronts.”