Located west of Goulburn, Crookwell Wind Farm was the first to be connected to the electricity grid in July 1998.
At that time it was also the largest wind farm in Australia. There are eight turbines, each 45m high, with rotors over 44m in diameter. Each turbine has a 500kW capacity with a total generation of 4 MW.
As a renewable source of energy, wind power enables electricity to be generated without any carbon dioxide emissions.
Each year, over the 20 year life expectancy of the project, the Crookwell Wind Farm will save around 8,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions that would otherwise have been produced from coal fired generation.
The wind farm was constructed and commenced operating in 1998, following long term wind monitoring at the site. Energy generated is fed into the transmission grid for distribution to customers.
The wind farm is connected via underground 11 kV cables to a substation, which steps up the voltage for connection to the local 66 kV transmission grid.
Each turbine is regulated to ensure that the wind farm operates at the maximum possible output for all situations. Each turbine has it’s own local computer control system that optimises its own energy output.
Data on the performance of each wind turbine is continually collected and transferred to the operations centre for analysis and evaluation.
A communications link between the wind farm and the operations centre allows the operators to monitor and control each wind turbine independently if required.
How much electricity is produced
Each turbine can generate approximately 600 kilowatts (kW) of power, making a total power output from the 8 turbines of almost 5 megawatts (MW). This is enough to meet the average electricity demand of 3,500 homes.
- Auto start-up will occur when wind speed exceeds 15 km/hour.
- Auto cut-out mechanisms shut down the turbine in very high winds greater than 72 km/hour.
All turbines are protected by a total lightning protection system.
Vital statistics of the Crookwell Wind Farm
- 8 turbines
- 600 kW capacity
- 45 metre hub height from ground
- 44 metre blade diameter
- 28 rpm rotational speed
- 15 km/hour start-up wind speed
- 54 km/hour wind speed for maximum power
- 72 km/hour cut-out wind speed
- 360º directional movement of nacelle
- 105m³ of reinforced concrete foundation
- 36 tonne steel tower
- 27.5 tonne nacelle, hub and blades (total)
- 690 volt generator (3-phase)