Australia’s busiest airport turns to wind power

Origin Energy will supply up to 75 per cent of Sydney Airport’s electricity with wind power from a 37-turbine, 135 MW wind farm.

Sydney Airport is Australia’s busiest airport. Located just 8 kilometres south of Sydney city centre, it handles over 40 million passengers and some 350,000 aircraft movements per year. The airport is also a primary hub for Australia’s largest airline, Quantas.

Now, Sydney Airport is going renewable. Under the terms of a long-term agreement, Australian energy company Origin Energy will supply the airport with wind power from the Crudine Ridge Wind Farm contracted through Origin. When the wind is not blowing enough to meet the airport’s load, Origin will provide firming generation.

Construction commenced earlier this year on the 37-turbine, 135 MW wind farm located some 200 kilometres northwest of Sydney, and it is expected to be fully operational by late 2019.

“When Sydney Airport approached us wanting a cost-effective way to meet their energy needs and reduce emissions, we developed an innovative agreement where we contract the wind and bundle it with firming energy in an all-in-one package,” explained Origin Energy executive general manager energy supply and operations Greg Jarvis.

According to Jarvis, his company is seeing growing interest from customers wanting more sustainable energy combined with the assurance of firming energy and expert portfolio management.

Earlier this year, Origin signed a landmark agreement with the University of New South Wales to provide firming generation to complement the university’s offtake agreement with Sunraysia Solar Farm.

Image credit: David Clarke via Flickr

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