Massive South Australia wind farm, undersea cable project wins new approval | RenewEconomy

Massive South Australia wind farm, undersea cable project wins new approval

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Revised development plans for a 630MW wind farm on S.A. Yorke Peninsula, linked to Adelaide via an undersea cable, have won state government approval.

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Long held plans to build a 630MW wind farm on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula, and help power Adelaide via an undersea cable, have taken a major step forward after a revised development application was given the green light.

Wind energy giant Senvion said on Tuesday that the $1.6 billion project would use fewer – but larger and more efficient – turbines, after the state government approved a variation to the Development Approval.

It said the total number of turbines had been reduced from 187 to a maximum of 170, using the latest wind turbine technology, with an increased maximum tip height of up to 220 metres, and an increased rotor diameter of up to 160 metres.

The ambitious project also includes plans for a high voltage undersea cable, coupled with a synchronous condenser and flywheel, which Senvion says will contribute to increased network security and reliability for the South Australia grid.

“The Ceres Project wind farm is one of the largest renewable energy projects in Australia and the first to connect a capital city to wind power via an undersea cable,” the project website says.

“With no overhead power lines, the Ceres Project will bring clean power to 225,000 homes via a High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) connection under the Gulf of St Vincent directly into Adelaide’s power grid.

It’s the second revision to the project, following an earlier amendment in September of 2017 that increased the length of each turbine blade from 57 metres to 70 metres, thus reducing the number of turbines required from the originally planned 197, to 187, at a height of 93m.

That change, which was approved by the then Labor state government, stated that the project – which has been in the planning since 2011 – must be completed by August 10, 2021.

The statement from Senvion said input from the community had helped shape the Ceres Project, with agreements to establish a $150,000 a year community fund and $50,000 a year community fire fighting fund.

Agreements have apparently also been made with local farmers to stop turbines as needed, to support aerial spraying activities.

Senvion notes there will also be more than 135km of underground cables to avoid the use of overhead powerlines; setbacks of at least 2 km from coastal settlements and of 1.3 km from neighbouring households – exceeding government requirements.

Direct local benefits have been estimated at $8 million per annum for the 25-year life of the wind farm.

All that noted, the massive project is not quite over the line yet. Senvion still has to meet “a number of conditions” around construction and operation and associated infrastructure – including transformers, underground transmission lines and cabling – before it can make a start on construction.

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7 Comments
  1. Paul McArdle 4 months ago

    This one has been a long time coming…

  2. Craig Fryer 4 months ago

    At least with the synchronous condensers and flywheel there should be no need to run gas generators at the same time to stabilise its output. It should have some what different output patterns to most of the other wind generators in SA.

  3. Paul Surguy 4 months ago

    Good to see it happening

  4. Ian 4 months ago

    Another cable in the opposite direction would give access to Cultana and Whyalla steelworks.

  5. dono 4 months ago

    These are “only” 3.8MW and 160m dia. so how big are the largest ones at 12MW?

  6. RobertO 4 months ago

    Hi All

    This is from the DA

    Key Factor Existing Approval
    Number of wind turbines 187
    MW rating of wind turbine 3.4 MW
    Nameplate MW rating of wind farm 636 MW
    Tower Height (a) 93 metres
    Rotor Diameter 140 metres
    Turbine tip height 163 metres

    Key Factor Variation

    Number of wind turbines 170
    MW rating of wind turbine 3.7 up to 6 MW
    Nameplate MW rating of wind farm ~630 MW
    Tower Height (a) Up to 140 metres
    Rotor Diameter Up to 160 metres
    Turbine tip height Up to 220 metres

    My thoughts are there will be a range of turbines at the site all aimed at the best overall production. By moving up in hight and a slightly larger rotor diameter the annual energy production can rise by up to 18 % or more (more stable wind flows and less turbulence. I am hoping there a story shortly about improvements in WTG’s).

  7. RobertO 4 months ago

    Hi All This project has a good website with lots of information on it. It a bit of reading but for some people it worth the time

    Look up “the ceres wind farm”

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