New England Wind
New England Wind (NEW) was established to pursue a vision of creating the first community-owned wind farm in NSW.
After nearly a decade of work, the NEW Consortium who were leading this work, made the difficult decision to conclude this work. While there was a wide range of factors taken into account, the main reasons for taking this decision were:
- The marginal project viability for the preferred windfarm site ~ which has been our focus for the last few years and follows assessments of more than 100 prospective sites
- Ongoing political headwinds and lack of support for renewable energy generally and community energy particularly
- High levels of competitiveness and uncertainty in the electricity market
- The limited prospects for substantial financial support in the near future being at odds with the large and complicated nature of such a project.
After nearly a decade of work, the New England Wind Consortium made the difficult decision in July 2018 to conclude its work and no longer pursue the development of a community-owned windfarm.
While we are of course incredibly disappointed that our decade of effort has come to this point, the Consortium also recognise that NEW has seen many accomplishments along the way, such as:
Wind Monitoring Program
Acquisition of a portable sodar wind monitoring unit for the community energy sector, in partnership with Embark and Fulcrum 3D.
The sodar was used to collect wind data for three New England sites and is currently being used by a Victorian community energy group.
Sapphire Windfarm Community Investment
Working with Embark and CWP Renewables to develop the pioneering community investment model as part of the Sapphire Windfarm.
Community Education & Support
Extensive community education about wind power and energy sustainability through our large-scale social feasibility study, Windfarm Tour to the Capital Renewable Energy Precinct and ongoing program of forums, events, market stalls and newsletters.
We feel confident that this work has helped to pave the way for the acceptance by community and all levels of government within the New England region for the establishment of the large commercial windfarms in the Inverell and Glen Innes areas, such as Sapphire Wind Farm above.
Technical Capacity Building
Published research into the legal, financial and governance models for community-owned windfarms and community energy projects.
These publications are available via NEW’s scribd library.
Starfish provided its Start-up Incubator and Auspice service for New England Wind.
In addition, Starfish provided executive support for the Consortium and performed a wide range of project services including community engagement, key stakeholder relations, strategy, communication, project coordination, finance and administration.