Work to extend EnergyAustralia’s Waterloo Wind Farm will begin this month, after regionally-based company Keppel Prince was appointed to manufacture and supply six new turbine towers for the extension.
The contract, worth an estimated $3.5 million, will mean all 43 turbines at the South Australian site will have towers that were manufactured locally.
The extension will bring Waterloo’s total capacity to more than 130MW – enough to supply electricity to more than 50,000 homes a year.
Palisade and Northleaf Capital, Waterloo’s joint-owners, will fund the $43 million construction project, which will be managed by a specialist team with support from the existing EnergyAustralia Asset Management team.
The wind farm’s general manager, Steve Symons, said the decision to use Keppel Prince was a key one in a highly competitive global market.
“Keppel Prince were able to capitalise on the fact they already had wind turbine towers in manufacture for Vestas Australia, our engineering and construction contractor, and therefore offer us reduced costs and faster delivery timeframes,” he said.
Delivery of the turbine towers is expected in July, while initial works will commence this month.
The announcement of the deal follows an earlier decision to appoint local Clare-based engineering firm, OTM Civil, to construct roads, drainage and turbine foundations for the project.
Adelaide-based Consolidated Power Projects Australia Pty Ltd (CPP), an electrical engineering company, has also been appointed to design and construct all non-turbine components for the project.
Vestas Australia is currently tendering for provision of specialist transport services and crane services and are considering a number of Australian companies to perform this work.
Overall, it is estimated that $2.3 million in investment will flow to the economy of the mid-north SA region.
Located east of Mintaro in South Australia, Waterloo wind farm has an interesting back story, as the subject of a 2013 SA Environmental Protection Agency study into low-frequency noise levels.
The EPA study, which was initially welcomed by Australia anti-wind camp – and its findings then ridiculed by it – ultimately cleared the farm of any excessive or insidious contributions to the general noise environment.
In 2014, Waterloo’s stage two development was listed in this RenewEconomy story among the wind and solar projects likely to disappear if the Renewable Energy Target was scrapped by the former Abbott government.
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