Queensland’s largest wind farm — located in Far North Queensland — is now exporting its first electricity into the grid, with its new substation and switchyard now energised and ready to roll.
Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the 275kV Walkamin Substation, owned and built by Powerlink, had been commissioned and was already transporting power from Ratch Australia’s Mt Emerald Wind Farm into Powerlink’s transmission network.
“This new substation is the critical link to transport power generated at Mount Emerald,” Dr Lynham said.
“When testing and commissioning works are fully completed, the facility is expected to provide enough power annually to supply up to 75,000 homes – equivalent to supplying about one third of Far North Queensland’s energy needs.
“With the substation energised, Ratch is now working through a phased commissioning and testing. All works are on schedule to have Mount Emerald fully operational and powering Queensland by the end of the year.”
The wind farm has created around 150 jobs during construction, with Powerlink’s grid connection works supporting another 59 jobs.
Shipments of all the major components saw more than 185,000 tonnes of cargo – blades, towers and generators – brought through the Port of Cairns for the wind farm’s construction. Road transport of these components from Cairns through to the site is now nearly complete.
The $380 million Mount Emerald Wind Farm is one of 13 renewable energy projects either underway or financially committed in North Queensland.
With a combined capital investment of more than $2 billion in the North Queensland economy, the projects will create more than 1,800 jobs during construction and generate a total of more than 1000 megawatts of electricity.
Powerlink Chief Executive Merryn York congratulated the Powerlink team who delivered the connection project works ahead of schedule.
“We worked closely with Ratch to accelerate the commissioning date for the Walkamin Substation by 10 weeks,” Ms York said.
“This was no easy feat, given the hilly and rocky terrain in the area which presented a number of design and technical challenges.”