How much energy do wind farms create?

It depends on the number of wind turbines and how windy the site is, but wind farms can create a great deal of energy.

The offshore wind zone proposed in the Illawarra could power up to 3.4 million homes. Dr. Saul Griffith has also pointed out that the offshore wind zone could mean that every single home in the Illawarra is powered by renewable energy, not climate-wrecking coal and gas.

In Victoria, the very small Hepburn Wind Farm powers around 2,000 homes, while the much bigger Stockyard Hill Wind Farm powers around 425,000 homes. A wind farm under construction near Geelong will generate 9% of Victoria's total electricity demand, which can power 765,000 homes.

How reliable is energy from wind farms?

Wind is an incredibly reliable energy source.

At times of peak performance – like when wind energy reached 146% of South Australia’s demand in 2022 – excess energy can be sent elsewhere via the grid or stored in batteries for future use. The reverse is true, too. When performance drops, electricity can be imported from the national grid or discharged from a battery.

With gas, losing one generator can mean losing half its output. Wind farms can handle breakdowns better because they have many small generators that are unlikely to all go offline at once. Drops in wind generation can be predicted, unlike coal and gas plants that are prone to sudden shutdowns and provide zero warning to grid operators.

From 28 January 2023 to 20 January 2024, wind provided 15% of Australia’s electricity and this will only grow as more wind farms are built.

How affordable is energy from wind farms?

Very affordable.

Right now wind power is the cheapest source of large-scale renewable energy in Australia. Meanwhile, the price of gas for households continues surging up.

A record-breaking volume of renewable energy generation, led by wind and solar, in late 2023:

  • drove the wholesale price of electricity down 24%
  • cut the use of more expensive coal-fired power
  • and is expected to lead to cuts on 1 July 2024 when the next round of price-setting for household energy bills is due.

As more wind and solar projects are constructed, bringing more wind and solar energy into the system, we can expect this trend of cheaper electricity for households to continue.