New England Wind
New England Wind is working to establish the first community-owned wind farm in NSW. This will be a major step closer to achieving the growing desire to establish a regional energy system which is sustainable and governed by the community. It builds on the significant take-up of micro-generation (solar power, small wind turbines, solar hot water; solar heating) and solar farms.
The goal is to develop a wind farm of 8~12 turbines. This could produce the equivalent of half the residential electricity of the New England High Country, or enough for 25,000 people and 10,000 dwellings. Around $30-50m investment will be required.
New England Wind is governed and led by a consortium of professionals with technical, professional and community expertise.
Site Technical Feasibility
A comprehensive social feasibility study has been completed. The study identified overwhelming community support and more than 100 landholders voluntarily offered to consider hosting wind turbines on their properties.
The most viable site is now being asssessed for its technical and financial viability. This involves grid connection, on-site wind monitoring and preliminary financial and capital modelling.
The other priority for the project is to continue to build support with key stakeholders, industry, prospective shareholders and the wider community. A windfarms tour to Canberra and a highly professional portable Community Wind Power information centre are two of the key initiatives in this regard.
Starfish is auspice for New England Wind. A Cooperative is being established to ultimately own and operate the community wind farm.
In addition to being auspice, Starfish provides executive support for the Consortium and performs a range of project services including stakeholder relations, communication, coordination, finance and administration.