Global engineering giant GE, in partnership with Downer EDI Limited, has won the contract to supply, build and maintain the turbines for the $350 million Boco Rock wind farm in New South Wales. The 67-turbine, 113MW wind farm, which will be located just outside of Nimmitabel, in the Snowy Mountains region, has a power purchase agreement with EnergyAustralia, and is permitted for potential future expansion to 121 turbines.
As part of the deal, announced on Thursday, GE will supply and commission 58, 1.7MW and nine, 1.6MW wind turbine generators. The 1.7-100 turbine is GE’s latest, and is said by the company to be the world’s most efficient in its class. With blades of 50m in length and at a height of around 33 stories, it can boost power production by 6 per cent. GE says the project will generate enough energy to power at least 40,000 homes, and will offset approximately 300,000 tonnes of CO2e a year, relative to coal.
GE has been working with Continental Wind Partners (CWP), the developer of Boco Rock wind farm, since 2011 to fund the project through the development phase. The GE-Downer consortium will provide engineering, procurement and construction. Thai-listed Electricity Generating Public Company Limited (EGCO) will take 100 per cent ownership of the project from CWP. EGCO will retain CWP to manage the wind farm locally.
In other news…
Geodynamics 100-day trial of its 1MWe Habanero Pilot Plant has successfully passed the half way point, with Australia’s leading geothermal company revealing this week that it had so far successfully achieved a turbine test run, loop reliability and performance testing, initiation of tracer testing, and this Monday’s milestone of running the plant in stand-alone mode, generating net power. The company says the focus of the trial will now shift to testing the Innamincka plant’s step rate performance, using different flow rates over the next 30 days.
Four years after being awarded a $66.5 million grant to build a 19.5MW wave energy project near Portland in Victoria, Ocean Power technologies has announced that it has hired a local diving firm to conduct a survey of the ocean floor. Describing the move as a “major step”, it may have more to do with its eagerness to demonstrate to the Austrlian Renewable Energy Agency that it is moving forward. ARENA has been taking a tough stance over projects which have shown little prospect of advancement. The OPT project is now not scheduled to be completed until 2017 at the earliest.