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Wind Energy

Australia, especially southern Australia, has some of the world’s best wind resources capable of producing significant wind energy; currently one of the cheapest renewable energy sources available.

Wind energy involves the generation of electricity from the naturally occurring power of the wind. Wind turbines capture wind energy within the area swept by their blades, proportional to the wind speed cubed, up to the designed maximum blade speed. The blades in turn drive an electrical generator to produce power for export to the grid.

Sites where there is strong, consistent wind, such as across Southern Australia, are the most appropriate locations for wind farms. An excellent wind site is generally considered to provide average wind speeds greater than 8 metres per second at ground level.

Large areas within NSW – including the South East – have excellent wind resources by international standards and many of the best sites are located near existing electricity grid infrastructure.

In 2015, Australia's wind farms produced 33.7 per cent of the country's clean energy and supplied 4.9 per cent of Australia's overall electricity during the year.

With some of Australia’s best wind resources located in close proximity to existing grid infrastructure, the south east NSW-ACT region has attracted a proliferation of utility scale wind farms in recent years, particularly in regional NSW. Wind energy is currently the most cost effective renewable energy technology and is assisting Australia to meet its national renewable energy target (RET). The region has 8 fully operational wind farms including the largest in NSW – the 165.5MW Gullen Range Wind Farm which generates enough renewable energy to power 60,000 NSW homes.

Click here to watch a video produced by Acciona: How does a wind turbine work?

Information above from a variety of sources including http://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/ and the NSW Renewable Energy Action Plan.

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