The first of 31 turbines has been competed at Tasmania’s 112MW Granville Harbour wind farm, a project that promises to deliver a one-third increase to the state’s wind power capacity.
The milestone for the $280 million project was celebrated on Sunday by developers Palisade Investment Partners and by Royce Smith, whose cattle grazing land on Tasmania’s west coast is hosting the wind farm.
“It’s been a long and challenging process, and at certain points it has felt like it was never going to happen, so seeing the first turbine up is a pretty special moment,” said Smith, who along with business partner Alex Simpson, conceived the idea for a wind farm there over 10 years ago.
The project was initially being developed by Westcoast Wind, which was bought out by Palisade in February 2018, some months after the two companies negotiated a long-term PPA for the wind farm’s output with Hydro Tasmania.
The Granville Harbour project reached financial close in July last year, after a $59 million investment from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
Project director, Lyndon Frearson, said completion of the first 3.6MW turbine – which at 200 metres to the blade tip is the tallest in Tasmania – was a major milestone.
After the installation of the 118-tonne nacelle earlier last week, a 30 strong team had worked for 13 hours to install the three 62-metre long blades using a crane reaching 150 metres into the sky.
Heading into the summer months, Frearson said the project would be “full steam ahead” to complete another two turbines by the end of the month, weather permitting.
“We’ve now got the transmission line complete, over half of the wind turbine foundations are poured and energisation of the switchyard is expected by the end of the month,” he added.
The project is on track to be completed entirely by mid-2020, and once operational will generate enough power to supply around 46,000 Tasmanian homes.
Hydro Tasmania says Granville Harbour will contribute to its plans to double the Apple Isle’s renewable energy capacity and make it the Battery of the Nation.