• Jon Ruwolt

Snowtown's Wind Farm 2

Snowtown Wind Farm 2 is one of the most modern wind farms in Australia.

  • This wind farm produces enough electricity for 180,000 South Australian homes

  • The 270MW Snowtown 2 Wind Farm was commissioned in October 2014, producing an average of 875GWh of electricity per year.

Up to 430 meters above sea level and less than 50 kilometers from the coast, wind is a constant feature in the Barunga and Hummocks Ranges of South Australia.

  • Standing tall on the peaks and ridges, 90 Siemens "Gamesa" wind turbines gracefully turn – generating clean, reliable power for homes and businesses.

  • The Snowtown 2 Wind Farm is located adjacent to the Snowtown 1 Wind Farm on the Barunga Ranges in the north and along the Hummocks Ranges to the south.

  • in August 2012. Deutsche Bank provided AU$400 million in funding for the project, which became operational in June 2014.


Project Overview

  1. Location: From Snowtown to Hope Gap, Mid-North South Australia

  2. Turbines: Part 1: 10 direct drive (gearless) turbines: Siemens SWT-3.0-101 (power 3,000 kW, diameter 101 m) Part 2: 80 direct drive (gearless) turbines: Siemens SWT-3.0-108 (power 3,000 kW diameter 108 m)

  3. Hub height: 80 m

  4. Total nominal power: 201,000 kW

  5. Project Status Operational

  6. Maximum Capacity 270 MW

  7. Annual Output 875 GWh

  8. Commissioned 2014

  9. Investment AU$400 million

  10. Turbines 90 turbines

Siemens 'Gamesa' Wind Turbines at Snowtown SA

“Snowtown Stage 2 was the first project in Australia to deploy the Siemens direct drive machines, a major leap forward in turbine technology.”

  • Both turbines utilise permanent magnet generators and direct drive (gear-less) technology.

  • The 10 SWT-101 turbines have a hub height of 80m and a blade length of 49m.

  • The 80 SWT-108 turbines have a hub height of 80m and a blade length of 53m.

Loading of the Wind Farm turbines for Snowtown SA

The Sale of Snowtown Wind Farm 2

On 17 December 2019, Tilt Renewables revealed that the Snowtown 2 Wind Farm was sold

  • Infrastructure company Palisade, which is buying the Snowtown wind farm, says it will look at reviving a stalled grid-scale solar project as well as investigate a big battery for the region.

The Snowtown 2 wind farm transaction is the biggest such sale undertaken in Australia.

  • The buyer is a company wholly‐owned by funds managed by Palisade Investment Partners Limited (‘Palisade’) and First State Super. 

  • Tilt Renewables will continue to assist in the operation of Snowtown 2 for a period of 6 months, under an Asset Management and Transitional Services Agreement.

  • Read more about the sale here.


Cloud surrounds wind turbines near Snowtown in 2017. Picture: Tait Schmaal

The Deal and the Future

New Zealand's Tilt Renewables sold its shares in the Snowtown 2 wind farm in South Australia for $472 million, making it the largest wind asset to be sold in a single transaction in Australia.


Palisade and First State Super will pay $472 million and also take over $611 million in debt.

  • Palisade already owns the nearby Hallett and Waterloo wind farms.

  • Mr Hann (of Palisade) said as well as looking at solar, Palisade would conduct a feasibility study on a grid-scale battery.

  • Tilt chief executive Deion Campbell said it was pleasing to see the market “acknowledge the quality of this asset.”

  • “We’ll be pretty flush after this so it’ll be a question of what’s next,” he said.

  • Tilt retains ownership of the Snowtown 1 wind farm, built in 2008.

The sale to Palisade Investment Partners Limited and First State Super will free up capital for the company to invest in new wind farms and battery storage projects in Australia and New Zealand, said Tilt Renewables chief executive Deion Campbell.

"The front-running option for a battery investment is linking one up to the Snowtown 1 wind farm in South Australia," Mr Campbell said.


The ASX-listed electricity generator said the sale of Snowtown 2 is likely to generate net proceeds of about $455 million for the company after transaction costs are factored into the deal, which is expected to close out before the end of 2019.


Tilt, which is majority owned by utilities investor Infratil Ltd, said the 270 megawatt wind farm will be sold with Snowtown 2's existing project finance facility, which has an expected balance of about $611 million, bringing the "enterprise value" of the deal to $1.07 billion.


Tilt Renewables is committed to providing financial support to the local community through community benefit programs. 

  • This includes the Snowtown Wind Farm Lend a Hand Fund.


The Snowtown 2 wind farm is a respondent to legal action by the Australian Energy Regulator over the 2016 statewide blackout.

  • Mr Campbell said the matter was “dealt with” in the sale transaction but he could not reveal further detail as the legal case was still in progress.


Not One, but Two Batteries to be built

Infrastructure company Palisade, which is buying the Snowtown wind farm, says it will look at

“We intend to undertake a full feasibility assessment of the solar farm opportunity as part of the transition of ownership from Tilt to Palisade,” said James Hann, investment director at Palisade.



Tilt Renewables also plans to build a 21MW/42MWh battery attached to Snowtown 1 Wind Farm.

  • Parliament’s Public Works Committee reported on Thursday that a $7.125 million grant for the battery was justified.

  • “The Snowtown battery is a valuable project that will ensure that more renewable energy is paired with storage providing benefits to consumers,” a State Government spokesman said.

  • Mr Campbell said the project would be a groundbreaking initiative as the first to retrofit a battery to an older wind farm.

  • The State Government, Australian Energy Market Operator and transmission company ElectraNet were all assisting but there were technical challenges which could increase the cost of the project from about $30 million to a less feasible $40 million, he said.


Sources:

The Advertiser "Palisade buys $1 billon Snowtown 2 wind farm from Tilt Renewables, paving way for Palmer and solar" by Chris Russell, December 6, 2019 6:00pm: https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/palisade-buys-1-billon-snowtown-2-wind-farm-from-tilt-renewables-paving-way-for-palmer-and-solar/news-story/e88e3dffc60a8d8b115d4a339ff45adf


Funds in billion-dollar plunge on SA wind farm

https://www.afr.com/policy/energy-and-climate/funds-in-billion-dollar-plunge-on-sa-wind-farm-20191205-p53h98


Snowtown II: A modern wind farm

https://www.siemensgamesa.com/en-int/explore/customer-references/snowtown-ii-wind-farm


Windpower: Snowtown II

https://www.thewindpower.net/windfarm_en_4028_snowtown-ii.php


Snowtown Wind Farm Stage 2

https://www.tiltrenewables.com/assets-and-projects/Snowtown-Wind-Farm-Stage2/





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