Climate in Sydney / Electric Farms

This page is about Sydney’s first years using city-scale solar and wind energy.

The Great Energy Transition took root in Sydney in the late 2010s, as electric retailers and private developers introduced the region to utility-scale wind farms. Each year since, a major wind or solar electric project has started feeding onto the Australian National Grid. In 2020, all 12 retail electric providers in New South Wales are at some stage of switching up their electric systems to wind and solar.

Wind and solar farms make about 7 percent of Sydney’s electricity. Now, in the early 2020s, arrays of utility-sized batteries are being installed at these farms. Battery farms store wind and solar electricity, so that these sources can be used as needed any time of day.

1. Sydney is getting started with the wind

1.1 These are Sydney’s most powerful wind farms

2. Sydney is sprouting city-scale solar electricity too

2.1 This solar farm electrifies Sydney’s city-owned properties.

2.2 Big solar farms around Sydney are going on-grid

Sydney citizen person

1. Now, Sydney gets to harvest Gigawatts of nearby Wind Energy.

New South Wales (NSW), the Australian state that contains Sydney has 15 wind farms currently making electricity, and 7 proposed or under construction. Together, all the “switched-on” wind farms in New South Wales make enough electricity to electrify 2,000,0000 homes. Most of these wind farms started operating after 2015, when wind quickly became a significant part of New South Wales’ energy mix. 

Three highland regions outside Sydney are home to the region’s biggest wind farms. The Tablelands, The Uplands, and The Ridges regions are high enough above surrounding lands and water to capture nearly uninterrupted movements of massive amounts of air.

Still, in 2020, the combined power of these NSW wind farms, significant as it is, represents only 5% of Sydney’s electric needs. Many more wind and solar farms will be needed to replace the region’s 5 mega-huge coal-fired power stations and curb global heating.

1.1 This is the most powerful wind farm in Australia.

XXX kilometers northwest of Sydney, the Liverpool Wind Farm will be TURNING ON (in phases) from 2021 to 2024.

At 1,000 Megawatts of electric generating capacity, Liverpool will be the biggest, most powerful wind farm in Australia. When fully operational in 2024, Liverpool will supply electricity enough for over a million (1,000,000 people).

The huge Liverpool Wind Station will have the generating capacity of two large carbon-spewing coal-fired power stations.  It’s 272 giant wind turbines will make enough electricity to run up to 500,000 average Australian homes (at least 1,250,000 people). Each turbine will kill hundreds of Australian birds each year.

Climate Protection: 1,200,000 tonnes of carbon (equivalent to 450,000 cars) each year for at least 25 years. Geography: 370 km North of Sydney, near Coolah, on a ridge in the Upper Hunter Region of NSW, Australia. Technology: General Turbine 4.5 MW wind turbines. Owner/Operator: Tilt Renewables.

Note: 1,000 Megawatts (1 Gigawatt) is roughly equivalent to two large coal-fired power stations, or one large nuclear power station.

Industry news: Renew Economy.

1.2 Rye Park Wind Farm will be SWITCHED ON in 2020

Rye’s 92 wind turbines will make enough electricity for 240,000 average Australian homes.

At 276 Megawatts of electric generating capacity, Rye Park Wind Farm will make enough electricity to run up to 140,000 average Australian homes. Rye will have the generating capacity of one carbon-spewing coal-fired power station.  Spew Prevention: 650,000 tonnes of carbon (equivalent to 370,000 cars) each year for at least 25 years. Geography: near Yass NSW, Australia. Technology: 92 wind turbines. Owner/Operator: Tilt Renewables.

2. Sydney is getting more electricity from the Sun

Unlike other advanced cities, most of Sydney’s solar electricity is made not by large solar farms, but on people’s rooftops. Sydney electric providers have started hooking up with utility-scale solar arrays – mostly as a way to increase the City’s renewable energy portfolio. Sydney’s growing nearby solar stations are (in 2020) starting to replace the City’s need for carbon-fired electricity.

Industry news: R

2.1 City of Sydney is electrified 100% by its City Solar Farm.

Sydney Muni Solar Farm will be SWITCHED ON in 2020.

During the late 2010s forward, the trend of many C40 and Climate Mayors Cities is for the municipal body to have it’s own dedicated, publicly-owned solar farm with enough generating capacity to electrifying all of it’s publicly owned buildings, facilities, and operations.

This city electric project is a good example of how local leadership can quickly reduce the City’s carbon spew and – crucial for people in Sydney – to reduce electric rates. Soon, in 20XX, the City of Sydney will have its own solar farm, located within the city limits.

Electricity enough for X homes / up to X people) Carbon Equivalentx gasoline vehicles. Carbon Spew PreventionX tons each year / X tons daily / x kilograms daily

Location: . Land Coverx square meters, x hectares / x square kilometers / rugby fields.Generating CapacityX Megawatts. BatteriesX Megawatts. Technologies: x. Owner: x. Builder: x. Electric Provider: x. Feed to Grid Contract: from 20xx to 20xx

Industry news: Infrastructure Energy Magazine. City of Sydney launches $60 million green energy deal by Kim Ho, October 29, 2019 Infrastructuremagazine.com.au/2019/10/29/city-of-sydney-launches-60-million-green-energy-deal/

2.2 New solar farm will make the Sydney’s State University 100% carbon-free.

Sunraysia Solar Farm, went on-grid in 2020, and will provide the University of New South Wales with enough electricity for 25% of it’s electric needs. Combined with 75% of its electricity coming from wind energy, UNSW will be 100% decarbonized – with none of its electricity made by burning things.

2.3 The latest of many big new solar farms near Sydney

Coleambally Solar Farm was SWITCHED ON in 2020.

The blue solar array in the photo is just one small finger of the sprawling Coleambally Solar farm.

Electricity enough for X homes / up to X people) Carbon EquivalentX gasoline vehicles. Carbon Spew PreventionX tons each year / X tons daily / x kilograms daily

Location: . Land Coverx square meters, x hectares / x square kilometers / rugby fields.Generating CapacityX Megawatts. BatteriesX Megawatts. Technologies: x. Owner: x. Builder: x. Electric Provider: x. Feed to Grid Contract: from 20xx to 20xx

Industry News: Renew Economy. Australia’s biggest solar farm at Coleambally sets new production records by Giles Parkinson, 23 November 2018 RenewEconomy.com.au/australias-biggest-solar-farm-at-coleambally-sets-new-production-records-67215/