The last of 31 turbines has been fully installed at Tasmania’s 112MW Granville Harbour wind farm, a project that promises to deliver a one-third increase to the state’s total wind power capacity.
The major milestone was achieved on Monday, and confirmed on Wednesday, almost exactly 11 months to the day after the completion of the project’s first 3.6MW turbine, back in 2019.
And it means that final testing and commissioning work can now get underway in preparation for the wind farm reaching full generation capacity, which is hoped to be achieved by the end of the year. (It started sending some power to the grid back in February.)
“It’s almost one year since the first wind turbine was erected in November 2019, and it’s been a really challenging time for our construction team – many of whom have spent long periods away from home,” said project director Lyndon Frearson in a statement on the project website.
As it turns out, the sort of strong and consistent wind conditions that make the Tassie site well suited to a wind farm do not make for ideal installation weather.
Frearson notes that while the final tower sections and nacelle were installed last Friday, the crew had to wait until the wind dropped before progressing with the hub and blades on Monday morning.
“This is highly specialist, precision work and involves a significant degree of difficulty, as well as risk,” he said.
“I’m extremely grateful to everyone who has been involved and worked tirelessly to ensure the turbines were installed safely – it’s a significant achievement and reflects a huge team effort.”
The $280 million project is being developed by Palisade Investment Partners in partnership with Royce Smith, a local whose cattle grazing land on Tasmania’s west coast is hosting the wind farm.
The project was initially being developed by Westcoast Wind, but was bought out by Palisade in February 2018, some months after the two companies negotiated a long-term PPA with Hydro Tasmania.
A $59 investment from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation in July of last year helped get the wind farm to financial close.
“Now that construction activities are largely complete, the team onsite is firmly focussed on rehabilitation works to restore the land to pristine pasture for Granville Farm’s 1850-head of prime beef cattle,” added Frearson.
Once fully operational, Granville Harbour is expected to produce 400 gigawatt-hours of clean energy every year for Tasmanian homes and businesses.
Date: Nov 2, 2020