A joint venture between Energy Estate and MirusWind has proposed the development of a 4GW hybrid renewable energy project in New South Wales’ New England tablelands, approximately 55 kilometres south of Armidale.
“We are delighted to join MirusWind in taking this strategically located project forward in one of the identified renewable energy zones (REZ) under AEMO’s Integrated System Plan,” Principal of Energy Estate Vincent Dwyer said.
The Walcha Energy Project will comprise of wind, solar, pumped hydro and battery storage facilities. This development is set to become the largest renewable energy project to be connected to the National Electricity Market, Australia’s main grid.
The project’s location gives it an advantage with an excellent source of wind as well as enough land to build a large-scale solar farm. The project is also located within close proximity to the NSW transmission system and the Hunter Valley coal plants - which are expected to power down starting 2022.
The project developers are also planning to build a new substation and “renewable energy hub” - designed by Aurecon - close to the town of Uralla to support the power generation from the Walcha Energy Project.
Project location (source: Walcha Energy)
“This multi-technology opportunity will supply low-cost, firmed, renewable energy to NSW customers. The recent dramatic falls in the cost of new wind and solar generation means this is now the right time to move ahead with a project of this size and impact in NSW,” Energy Estate said in a statement.
The Walcha Energy Project is going to be developed in stages, with the first stage to include approximately 1GW of wind power together with 400MW solar.
Construction on Stage 1 is anticipated to begin in 2020, with the first output to go into the grid by 2022.
Simon Corbell, the chief advisor to Energy Estate and former ACT Climate and Energy Minister said through Renew Economy: “The Walcha Energy Project is a leading example of how integrated renewable energy generation and storage zones are the next stage of Australia’s clean energy transition.”
Unlocking the clean energy potential of areas like Walcha means delivering clean and dispatchable electricity generation when needed, and enabling new economic development opportunities in regional NSW,” Mr Corbell added.
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