11 Jan 2024

Squadron Energy starts work on largest NSW wind farm; commits to powering six million homes

Squadron Energy today officially started work on the Uungula Wind Farm, the largest wind farm being built in New South Wales.

4 minute read
  • Squadron Energy has today begun construction of Uungula Wind Farm near Wellington in central west NSW creating more than 260 jobs and injecting more than $40 million into the local economy.
  • Dr Andrew Forrest today committed to delivering a 14-gigawatt (GW) development pipeline, powering the equivalent of six million homes – one third of the renewable energy required for Australia to meet its 2030 renewable energy target (82 per cent by 2030).
  • As part of this commitment, Squadron has signed a $2.75 billion green strategic alliance for wind turbine supply with GE Vernova.

The 69-turbine project will be built near Wellington within the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone and has an approved connection to the existing transmission grid.

It’s a landmark milestone for renewable energy in Australia and the next step in Squadron Energy’s commitment to delivering 14GW of green electricity, powering the equivalent of six million homes. There is a further 6GW in Squadron’s development pipeline to follow.

Squadron Energy, a wholly owned portfolio company of Tattarang, is the only company to reach financial close on a wind farm in Australia and the only company to open a major grid connected wind farm in 2023 – with a major pipeline to follow.

Tattarang Chairman Dr Andrew Forrest AO said he was committed to financing Squadron’s 14GW development pipeline to support the Australian Government in achieving its renewable energy targets.

“This is a huge announcement from a major Australian company that is getting on with the job of building the renewable energy capacity required to deliver the green power Australia urgently needs,” Dr Forrest said.

“The time for talk is over, we are investing right now in Australia’s green energy transition and creating jobs and economic development for regional Australia.”

Dr Forrest said he supported the Federal Government’s Capacity Investment Scheme as a mechanism to supercharge renewable energy development.

“No longer will we have to rely on expensive, volatile, planet destroying fuels. We will have secure and inexpensive energy from a huge new industry for Australia.”

Tattarang Director Nicola Forrest AO, who grew up on a farm at Spicers Creek just a few kilometres from the site of Uungula Wind Farm, said she was proud to be investing in the local community.

“Projects such as Uungula Wind Farm can be a positive force for regional communities that create not just jobs but build skills and broader economic opportunities,” Mrs Forrest said.

“I’m so pleased that this area near Wellington will be at the forefront of the green energy transition and that we will be able to create long term positive impacts both directly and indirectly through this commitment to the community.”

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said: “The Albanese Government welcomes Squadron Energy’s sod turning on the Uungula Wind Farm and its ambitious 14GW renewable and storage development pipeline.”

“These projects are further proof renewable energy investors are getting on with the job, capitalising on Australia’s huge renewable potential, and helping transform our energy grid for the 21st century,” Minister Bowen said.

“Firmed renewable energy and storage is not only the cheapest form of energy but provides crucial reliability as increasingly old and unreliable coal fired power stations inevitably exit the system.”

Jason Willoughby, CEO of Squadron Energy, said Uungula Wind Farm would strengthen the regional NSW economy and reduce the cost of electricity.

“This project will create more than 260 jobs for regional NSW and inject about $41 million into the local economy. We’re excited to be working with our project partners on the first NSW wind farm to move into delivery this year,” Mr Willoughby said.

“In addition to the economic boost the project will bring, as part of our commitment to community we are offering fast, reliable internet coverage for properties surrounding the project and investment opportunities for residents in the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone.

“Once fully operational, this wind farm will prevent more than 560,000 tonnes of carbon emissions being released into the atmosphere annually, playing an important role in addressing climate change.”

$2.75 billion Green Strategic Alliance with GE Vernova

In order to support Dr Forrest’s commitment to financing and developing Squadron Energy’s development pipeline, Squadron Energy has today entered into a $2.75 billion green strategic alliance for wind turbine supply with GE Vernova.

Through the alliance, GE Vernova will supply Squadron Energy’s 414 MW Uungula Wind Farm with $1 billion worth of GE 6MW wind turbines and engineering, procurement and construction expertise through its consortium partners NACAP and CCP, and will also supply turbines for Squadron Energy’s next two NSW projects – Spicers Creek and Jeremiah wind farms.

Jason Willoughby said the strategic alliance would strengthen the company’s rollout of renewable energy projects.

“GE’s turbines are already powering 595MW of Squadron’s projects across Australia’s east coast at Crudine Ridge, Bango and Murra Warra II wind farms, providing enough electricity to power more than 394,000 homes,” Mr Willoughby said.

“With a growing demand on the manufacture of turbines globally, by entering into this alliance, Squadron Energy is planning for its production slots for the next 1GW of turbine supply, significantly reducing the risk on the supply chain for upcoming projects.”

GE Vernova Wind segment leader Vic Abate said he was delighted to partner with Squadron Energy and highlighted the benefits of the alliance.

“While the Inflation Reduction Act has unleashed significant investment in clean energy across the US, there are undoubtedly flow-on benefits for other markets. This alliance is a prime example, with Australia securing access to GE Vernova’s technology base and accelerating the path to more reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy,” Mr Abate said.

“With global demand accelerating, it is essential for Australia to embrace strategic supply chain initiatives to provide certainty in the rollout of renewable energy.”

More information on GE Cypress Wind Turbines can be found herehttps://www.ge.com/renewableenergy/wind-energy/onshore-wind/cypress-platform