Massive 70 metre wind turbine blades, bound for the Kennedy Energy Park in Hughenden, were imported through Townsville port this week for the first time in history.
The shipment of 36 blades and 3,500 tonnes of cargo from China will form part of the world’s first hybrid large-scale power plant.
The $160 million project combines twelve 200-metre-high wind turbines, 55,000 solar panels, and 4MW of lithium Ion Tesla battery storage.
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the delivery of the blades and tower sections demonstrated the Port’s state of the art capabilities.
“The logistical coordination of such enormous cargo involves many parties, from the importer, shipping line, to stevedores and transport companies. It’s an incredible team effort,” he said.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the arrival of the wind blades marked a significant moment for not only Townsville, but the entire state.
“Queensland is experiencing a renewable energy boom, and it’s great to see our state owned ports playing a role,” he said.
“This is another example of how the Palaszczuk Govenrment is helping to tansform the state’s energy network and achieve 50% renewables by 2030.”
The project is being developed by Canberra-based Windlab Limited and Japan’s Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation, with Vestas providing the wind turbines and control software and Quanta Solar and Vestas delivering the engineering, procurement and construction of the project.
Head of Vestas Australia and New Zealand, Peter Cowling, said the arrival of the blades in Townsville was another milestone achieved in this fast-moving project, scheduled to commence operations toward the end of 2018.
“We are committed to working with our customers and partners to bring cutting edge hybrid solutions to Australia and Queensland, and working with local communities to contribute to Australia’s renewable future,” Mr Cowling said.
The Kennedy Energy Park will create around 110 jobs during construction, including contracts with 18 local businesses, power the equivalent of 30,000 homes and decrease 185,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum.
KEP co-owner, Windlab Chief Executive Officer, Roger Price, said the project could export up to 60MW of power into the existing Ergon network, via two new substations at KEP and Cape River near Pentland.
“Stage 2 of the project, 70km north of Hughenden, will potentially inject $2 billion into North Queensland; a vitally important wind resource for the state,” Mr Price said.
Quanta Solar President, Charles Wright, said preparation for the large structures is currently underway in Hughenden.
“Each turbine requires 600 cubic metres of concrete footing, which is equivalent to around a quarter of an Olympic swimming pool,” Mr Wright said.
“Pours for each footing will take between 8-10 hours to complete,” he said.