Construction is underway on what will be – at least for a time – Australia’s largest wind farm.
Project developer AGL Energy said on Friday that the foundations had been laid at the site of the 453MW Coopers Gap Wind Farm in Queensland, and parts of the massive turbines were making their journey from port to site, around 180km north of Brisbane.
And when we say massive, we mean massive – as in, the largest wind turbine blades ever transported in Australia.
67.2 metres long and 22 tonnes. That’s how massive the wind turbine blades travelling through Queensland will be. These blades and other equipment will make their way to Coopers Gap Wind Farm, which will be one of Australia’s largest wind farms upon completion in 2019. pic.twitter.com/32gkKYxESR
— AGL Energy (@aglenergy) September 13, 2018
That’s according to AGL, who said a trial delivery of the blades and other components had been successfully completed on Tuesday, in preparation for “sustained overnight deliveries” for the rest of the year.
AGL Project Manager, Tim Knill, says the largest turbine blades measure 67.2 metres long and weigh in at a hefty 22 tonnes.
“The movement of such large pieces of equipment requires detailed planning and we are predicting approximately 1,200 oversize movements, involving blades, hubs, tower sections and nacelles,” he said.
“We aim to minimise the impacts on commuters so many of the movements are done at night time.”
Knill says the increased level of complexity of transporting the extra long blades is compensated for by the fact that, once installed, they allow more energy to be captured by every turbine, thus bringing down the cost of generation.
On that matter, Coopers Gap has already impressed, having secured – in August last year – an off-take price of below $60/MWh for energy generated by the south-east Queensland wind farm.
The deal included AGL writing a PPA for electricity and associated renewable energy certificates of less than $60/MWh for an initial five years, with an option to extend the agreement for another five years at the same – or even lower – price.
Once completed – it’s expected to be operational by mid-2019 — the project will comprise a total of 123 wind turbines, with 91 x 3.63MW turbines (137m rotor diameter) and 32 x 3.83MW (130m rotor diameter) turbines.
“The total capacity of the wind farm will be 453MW making it the largest wind farm by MW capacity in Australia.
“It’s estimated around $56 million will be spent by the project on services provided by local businesses during the construction phase… with 20 ongoing jobs created on site to maintain and operate the turbines.”