Wind infographic

What is wind energy?

Wind energy is generated by converting wind currents into other forms of energy using wind turbines. Wind turbines convert kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power, which can be used for specific tasks (like pumping water) or converted into electricity using a generator. Wind energy is currently the cheapest renewable energy and as a result has experienced significant growth.

What can wind energy be used for?

Wind energy has been used for centuries for pumping bore water, milling flour and other direct use applications. In the 21st century it is commonly used for electricity generation. Wind farms typically combine the output of multiple wind turbines to the electricity grid. Globally there are many onshore and offshore wind energy projects.

Are there wind resources in NSW?

NSW has world-class wind resources. The east coast and areas along the higher exposed parts of the Great Dividing Range, such as the Southern Highlands and New England areas, have been identified as some of Australia’s best areas for wind resources. The best sites have a combination of high average wind speeds, consistent winds and smooth landscapes.These sites are not restricted to coastal regions. Many of the most suitable sites in NSW are located near existing electricity grid infrastructure.

Due to its long coastline and stable continental shelf, NSW has the potential for offshore wind power generation. As technology continues to improve this could unlock great potential for the state.

How is wind energy used in NSW?

There are currently 11 operational wind farms in NSW. The largest wind farm is the Gullen Range Wind Farm, commissioned in December 2014 with a 172 MW capacity, with the potential to generate enough energy for over 60 000 homes. Other wind farms with a capacity greater than 100 MW include the Capital Wind Farm (140 MW), Boco Rock Wind Farm (113 MW), and Taralga Wind Farm (107 MW), all of which have been commissioned since late 2009.

In 2015, wind energy provided 2.5% of total electricity generated in NSW (including ACT).

Boco Rock

Boco Rock Wind Farm, 30 km north of Bombala. Photo courtesy of CWP Renewables.

What is the future of wind energy in NSW?

Wind energy is a rapidly growing source of renewable energy. New wind farms are being constructed in the New England region, and elsewhere there are a number of proposed new farms, such as Uungula Wind Farm, Liverpool Range Wind Farm and Silverton Wind Farm.

NSW has great potential to access offshore wind resources but there are currently no plans to develop offshore wind projects.



the amount of energy generated for any length of time. This map indicates capacity as a megawatt (MW).


the end of a process whereby a generator (solar plant or wind farm) prepares to supply electricity to the grid


the ability to do ‘work’ or to ‘make something happen’. It can exist in different forms, such as thermal (heat), kinetic, electrical, chemical and potential (stored). Energy is measured in joules (J).

direct employment

fulltime equivalent of employment hours (FTE)

kinetic energy

the energy of an object that is moving

mechanical energy

energy associated with movement, or kinetic energy combined with potential (stored) energy

megawatt (MW)

one MW = one million (1 000 000) watts

spatial resolution

measure of the accuracy or detail of an image or data


the movement of electricity along transmission lines once it leaves the power station


a measure of the flow rate of electricity, equivalent to one joule of energy per second. One joule is the internationally recognised unit for measuring energy of all types.

For further information
Geological Survey of New South Wales
+61 (0)2 4931 6666
+61 (0)2 4931 6700
PO Box 344, Hunter Region Mail Centre NSW 2310
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