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Waterloo Wind Farm extension complete, boosting capacity to 131MW

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An extension of Waterloo Wind Farm near Clare in South Australia has been completed, with the project’s six new 3.3MW wind turbines successfully exporting renewable power to the grid for the first time over the weekend.

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The $43 million project – which has boosted the wind farm’s total capacity by 18 per cent, to 131MW – was funded by Waterloo’s joint owners, Palisade and Northleaf Capital.

Construction, which began in March and employed more than 130 people, was reportedly completed on schedule and on budget by a specialist team led by Palisade Asset Management and power system engineering experts CAT Projects.

Waterloo’s owners agreed to add of the six new Vestas turbines to the existing 37 turbine wind farm after five years of “solid performance” from the Stage 1 development, to boost its production by 18 per cent.

The project was also notable for its appointment of regionally-based company Keppel Prince to manufacture and supply six new turbine towers for the extension.

The job, worth an estimated $3.5 million to Keppel Prince, means all 43 turbines at the South Australian have towers that were manufactured locally.

Waterloo’s owners said on Monday that the first post-expansion export results had been remarkable, with all six new turbines operating well and generation from the entire facility nearing 100 percent capacity late on Sunday afternoon.

The energy generated be the wind farm is sold to EnergyAustralia and Hydro Tasmania via long-term purchase agreements. Additional energy from the Waterloo wind farm extension will be sold independently to customers via the National Electricity Market.

“The project team has done an incredibly professional job to bring this project to a safe and successful close,” Waterloo’s general manager Steve Brown said.

“Expanding an existing wind farm presents a particular set of challenges and we have managed to overcome these and deliver to a demanding schedule, which is testament to everyone who was involved.

“We are really pleased with this outcome – and that our investors’ portfolio now includes additional clean energy generation that will deliver strong earnings over the long term,” he said.

Final tests to ensure full performance reliability of the new turbines are currently in progress.  

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  • john

    It is about time that large wind farm systems are put in place something like 500MW or larger to really produce some serious power.

    • Barri Mundee

      Yes. Ideally using 10MW turbines which I understand are the largest currently available.

      • john

        I think to have maximum effect 10 different sites each of 100 MW would be the most effective way to go with sites separated by large distances.
        Naturally the sites with the best resources could be larger but to mitigate the falling in power at one site the subsequent ones down wind will pick up the slack.
        If for instance a stable of 50 were put together at any one time at 20% availability this would result in considerable overlap and a more even production of energy.

  • Ian

    Sophie, what happened to the Ceres wind project in South Australia? Their web site is available but it’s like frozen in time.

    Nice that the existing wind projects can enjoy some ‘development-creep’ Its a bit like a game of statues, when the coal-guys are not looking, add a few turbines and when the spotlight returns, pretend that this was only an upgrade!