Renewable Energy Precincts Near Canberra

Filed under How-To Centre

Renewable energy precincts are developing rapidly in South East New South Wales near Canberra.

In 2009, the NSW Government established six Renewable Energy Precincts across NSW to promote and encourage renewable energy development in NSW – in the New England North West, Upper Hunter, Central West, NSW/ACT Cross Border Region, Snowy-Monaro and the South Coast precincts. The last three of these precincts are near Canberra.

Renewable Energy Day on 21 November 2012 provided an opportunity for the public to visit renewable energy sites at Woodlawn(near Tarago and Bungendore) in the ACT/NSW Cross Border Region, specifically Infigen’s Woodlawn Windfarm and Veolia’s Bioreactor.

Wind Farms

Infigen’sWoodlawn Wind Farm has 23 wind turbines and its adjacent Capital Wind Farm has 67 turbines. Together the two wind farms have an installed capacity of 189 Megawatts(enough to power more than 80,000 New South Wales households each year). The electricity generated by the Capital Wind Farm is contracted by Infigen to Sydney’s Desalination Plant under a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement. Infigen also has plans for Capital Wind Farm 2, which will add a further 41 wind turbines.

Infigen Energy is also aiming to further develop the renewable energy precinct at Woodlawn with the proposed Capital and Capital East solar farms.

Based on a proposed operating capacity of up to 50 Megawatts, the Capital Solar Farm will generate enough renewable energy to power up to 10,000 homes and will be the equivalent of removing about 15,000 cars from Australian roads each year. The proposed Capital East Solar Farm will be a 200kiloWatt solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy storage demonstration plant adjacent to the Capital and Woodlawn wind farms.


The Veolia Bioreactor, set up at an old open cut mine at Woodlawn, processes about one third of Sydney’s waste.  The old mine’s void is used as an in-situ bioreactor that has taken in over 2.2 million tonnes of waste from the Sydney metropolitan area and Goulburn surrounds since 2005. Over 30km of pipes collect more than 92 per cent of the methane from the waste in the landfill, and 3MWh of green electricity has been produced using this methane.

Veolia arranges transportation of the putrescible waste (that includes organic matter) to Woodlawn by rail from Sydney after it is compressed andcontainerised at Veolia’s transfer terminal in Clyde NSW.

Besides generating green electricity from waste at Woodlawn, Veolia uses some of the organic matter from the waste to develop mulch to help remediate the mine site. It is also progressing with aquaculture and horticulture projects at the site.

Below are a couple of photos from the 21 November bus trip to the bioreactor facility.


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