Listed renewable energy developer Tilt Renewables says its delayed 336MW Dundonnell wind farm in Victoria has been given the green light to move to its next level of production, lifting maximum output under the staged commissioning process to 295MW, using all 80 turbines.
The upgrade – announced by Tilt late last week – follows a roughly month-long period of testing at 226MW, again with all 80 turbines operational and Tilt says it will enable the wind farm to deliver approximately 97 per cent of its expected annual energy yield.
As RenewEconomy has reported, the Dundonnell wind farm was expected to be in full production by now, having been successfully completed on schedule and having having started sending power to the grid back in March.
But the massive project was unexpectedly held back by the Australian Energy Market Operator – despite meeting its registration criteria – a result of AEMO’s cautious approach to new connections and because new detailed modelling it commissioned raised concerns about the wind farm’s impact on grid security under certain conditions.
The project was then hit by a fallen blade from one of its Vestas turbines, which brought production across the wind farm to a halt for a few days as the cause was investigated and later determined to be due to loose bolts.
In a statement, Tilt said it its ongoing close collaboration with AEMO and turbine supplier Vestas had resulted in the wind farm being cleared to increase output, on track to achieving full output of 336MW and “practical completion” of the project in western Victoria in Q1 2021.
“The progression to this next hold point of 295MW is another important step as DDWF continues through the AEMO controlled commissioning process,” said Tilt CEO Deion Campbell in a statement.
“The focus now is to continue to work with AEMO to achieve the full capacity from the wind farm. At 295MW DDWF will be able to deliver approximately 97% of its expected annual energy yield.”
Tilt said it could confirm the previously stated FY21 EBITDAF range of $A65 million to $A80 million, assuming P50 wind conditions and expectations associated with the construction and commissioning of the Waipipi Wind Farm in New Zealand.