Sapphire Wind Farm, NSW

Sapphire Wind Farm is located on Ngarabal Country, 18km west of Glen Innes, in the New England region of northern NSW. It is the largest operational wind farm in New South Wales and has helped the ACT Government meet its target of 100% renewables in 2020 by providing a long term power purchase agreement.

Key Project Info

Wind turbines

75 x Vestas 3.6MW (137m hub height)

Commercial operations

November 2018

Maximum capacity


Annual output


PPA partners

ACT Government, Commonwealth Bank, Flow Power, Fujitsu, Nestle, Transurban


Project Timeline

Step 1/13

Project identification and site selection

Identification and site selection is based on an analysis of opportunities and constraints including (but not limited to): distance to the electricity grid, wind resource and population density of the surrounding community. Our team then undertake a number of site visits and consultation with landowners in the area.

Current Stage
Projeect Feasibility2

Step 2/13

Project feasibility and community engagement

Site-specific investigations are undertaken to assess the impacts and opportunities of the project and feedback is sought from the local community.

Current Stage
160m Mast

Step 3/13

Development Application and Environmental Impact Statement

A Development Application is made and an EIS prepared which involves a wide range of studies to address stakeholder feedback received to date and to consider the potential environmental and social impacts of the project.

Current Stage
Pexels pixabay 357514

Step 4/13

Public exhibition and Submissions Report

The EIS is placed on public exhibition through the NSW Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure. Interested members of the public are invited to have their say during the exhibition period by way of formal submissions. A Submissions Report is then prepared, which aims to respond to the submissions received.

Current Stage
IMG 80711

Step 5/13

Assessment and development consent

The project documents are assessed by the relevant government authorities. If determined, Development Consent is granted alongside a range of conditions specific to the project.

Current Stage
SQE Office 12 C

Step 6/13

Post approval, contracting and financing

A lead contractor(s) to build the project is appointed and all pre-construction approvals and consents are finalised. During this phase, the lead contractor(s) is provided with a list of local businesses that have registered their interest and capabilities through the project website.

Current Stage
SQE Office 3 C

Step 7/13


During this phase our lead contractor(s) seek tenders and engage contractors and suppliers to undertake the scope of the works. Orders are then placed for major components such as the wind turbines.

Current Stage

Step 8/13

Early works and design

Initial site activities commence, such as minor clearing and provision of access roads along with establishing a site construction compound. Off-site detailed design works commences in parallel.

Current Stage
4 170607 WTG wide

Step 9/13

Major civil works

During this phase of the construction the bulk of the civil works takes place. This includes the construction of new internal access roads, excavation and construction of the turbine foundations, installation of the internal electrical reticulation system, construction of the high voltage substation and main transmission line network.

Current Stage
01 Final foundation pour 2

Step 10/13

Wind turbine erection

This is where the visual aspect of the wind farm starts to emerge, with large cranes lifting the tower sections, nacelle, hub and blades into place.

Current Stage
CWP Crudine Ridge Wind Farm JOW 201125 0131

Step 11/13


In order to export power to the grid, each turbine is required to undergo several performance tests. It is during this stage that you will start to see turbines spinning and ultimately the whole of the wind farm complete.

Current Stage
SWF 03 Sapphire Wind Farm landscape 230724 12

Step 12/13


The project is operating in accordance with relevant approval conditions and management plans. Compliance with conditions of approval and management plans is monitored as required throughout the life of the project.

Current Stage
CWP Sapphire Wind Farm JOW 201111 7104

Step 13/13


The design life of the wind turbines will be at least 30 years. At the end of their useful life, the wind turbines and electrical equipment will be either replaced and the wind farm repowered, or the project will be decommissioned, and the site returned to its original use at the expense of the project.

Current Stage
20231113 i Phone Bango Wind Farm 72
CWP Sapphire Wind Farm JOW 201112 7492  

Community Fund
Giving $3.75M Back
to the community

The Community Fund is one of Sapphire Wind Farm’s commitments to give back to the community in a tangible and long-term way. The fund is split between the Inverell Shire Council and the Glenn Innes Severn Council based on the number of turbines installed in each area.

Two of the seventy-five turbines are in the Glenn Innes Severn Council area. Sapphire Wind Farm contributes $5k annually to the Glenn Innes Council community fund. The remaining annual contribution of $182.5k is allocated to the S355 Sapphire Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund which is administrated by the Inverell Shire Council.

Applications are taken in two rounds each year. Local non-profits can request funding for the purchase of small equipment and infrastructure, renovation and rehabilitation projects, and assistance with new programs and events.

The full list of the funding recipients can be found on the Inverell Shire Council website.

Round 1 of the 2024 Sapphire Wind Farm Community Fund has closed.

Squadron Energy in the community

Rural Fire Service fire shed

Kings Plains RFS is one of the many community operated volunteer rural fire stations located in the New England region of NSW. The station along with many of the volunteers are direct neighbours of the Sapphire Wind Farm. The location of the fire shed along with the extraordinary community spirit within the local area has attributed to the great relationship that exists between Sapphire Wind Farm, the local community and the Kings Plains RFS.

As well as the day-to-day RFS activities that the fire shed accommodates, it is also used as a community facility hosting events such as numerous local landholder meetings including the annual Kings Plains Children’s Christmas Party.

Sapphire Wind Farm has been fortunate to be able to work together with the RFS on multiple occasions for tasks such as developing emergency response plans, training drills, controlled hazard reduction burns on our biobank property and of course the annual Christmas party.

CWP Sapphire Wind Farm JOW 201112 7572

Sun protection for Elsmore Hall children

Elsmore Hall has seen a huge upgrade over the past year, thanks in part to funding from Sapphire Wind Farm and the federal government. The hall is the centrepiece of the local community that has served as a meeting place for the local community for more than 60 years.

A magnificent new playground, a seating area and solar panels were added through the Australian government’s Drought Communities Programme, however the improvements were incomplete without cover to protect children and parents from the sun.

Generous funding from the Sapphire Wind Farm community benefit fund provided the extra budget to purchase and install shade sails.

Construction of the playground, shade sails and other amenities was completed in July 2020. This is a great example of how the Community Benefit Fund can be used to improve and assist our local community.

CWP Sapphire Wind Farm JOW 201112 7635

Ekka Junior Judging and Cattle Showing

In August 2022, Squadron Energy and Sapphire Wind Farm sponsored the students at Macintyre High School Inverell, Inverell High School, Holy Trinity School Inverell and Glen Innes High School to visit and compete in the annual Ekka (The Royal Queensland Show).

Some highlights include Inverell High School being awarded first place in the Inter-School herdsman competition, as well as their steer 'Mayo' placing second place in the Carcase competition.

The trip also included a mid-week visit to the Australian Outback Spectacular show in the Gold Coast.

It was a great opportunity for the students to get involved and compete in the competitions, make it a fun and memorable learning experience for all who attended.

Inverell High School First Place

Our community approach

Consultative Committee

The purpose of a community consultative committee (CCC) is to provide a forum for open discussion.

It is a space for us to speak with representatives from the community, Inverell Shire and Glen Innes Severn Shire Councils and other stakeholders about specific matters relating to the wind project.

The CCC follows the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Community Consultative Committee Guidelines for State Significant Projects. Meeting minutes are provided below.

If you would like to get in touch with your local CCC member, please contact the Independent Chairperson:

Lisa Andrews:

    CWP Crudine Ridge Wind Farm JOW 201125 3786  

    Community investment

    We are proud to be pioneering Australia’s first, large-scale, public, community investment into a utility-scale wind farm. The Sapphire Wind Farm Community Co-investment allows members of the local community to invest in the Sapphire Wind Farm.

    CWP Sapphire Wind Farm JOW 201111 7115  

    Publicly Available Documents

    State Environmental Assessment Documentation

    CWP Sapphire Wind Farm JOW 201111 7108  

    About Squadron Energy

    Squadron Energy is Australia’s leading renewable energy company that develops, operates and owns renewable energy assets in Australia. We are 100% Australian owned and have 1.1 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy in operation and 900MW under construction. We are committed to launching 14GW of projects by 2030, powering the equivalent of six million homes.


    Site Manager

    David Williamson


    Mailing Address

    GPO Box 1858, Canberra ACT 2601

    Complaints and Issues Contact Point:

    Tel: +61 (2) 6100 2122

    Social Media

    Sapphire Wind Farm on Facebook


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