The first production has been spotted from the 194MW Bulgana wind farm – the much delayed project that will form a key part of what will be the biggest wind and battery hub in Victoria.
The Bulgana Green Energy Hub will combine the output of the wind farm and a 20MW/34MWh Tesla big battery to provide a 100 per cent renewable energy supply to the proposed giant greenhouse to be built by Nectar Farms. It will also inject a significant amount of supply into the main grid.
However, the Bulgana wind farm has been one a dozen new projects that has had its connection and commissioning delayed by the growing grid congestion in north-west Victoria, where new connections were halted after problems emerged with voltage control, resulting in five big solar farms having their output cut in half for more than seven months.
That has caused problems and revenue losses for both the owner, the French group Neoen, and the project’s EPC contractor. Neoen had passed on some of the revenue losses to its contractor under so-called Liquidated Damages, but these contracts tend to have “caps”, which means the owner ends up taking losses itself if the delay is substantial.
Bulgana’s representatives say that all 56 turbines have now been installed. However, it is not clear how long the commissioning process will take.
Still, Paul McArdle from Global Roam, the providers of RenewEconomy’s popular NEM-Watch widget, spotted the first output earlier this week, with a modest 1MW of production going into the grid. (See the very thin green line at the bottom of graph below). There is no sign yet of any activity from the new battery, which will be the third big battery in the state, joining the Gannawarra and Ballarat facilities.
The connections process involves several major hold points that are imposed until the market operator is satisfied that testing at those levels is complete.
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