Jul 27, 2016

Contractors named for $360m Atherton Tableland wind farm construction

Contractors named for $360m Atherton Tableland wind farm construction

Ratch Australia today named preferred contractors for its $360 million Mount Emerald Wind Farm near Mareeba on the Atherton Tableland, saying it remains on track for a December start to construction.

Construction will be undertaken by Vestas and Downer Group, subject to completion of the necessary contracting agreements and project financing arrangements.

The announcement follows Ergon Energy’s decision in May to purchase all of the electricity generated by the wind farm through to the end of 2030.

Ratch business development manager Anthony Yeates said the EPC tender process had been exhaustive and global in its scale but the preferred tenderer had been selected based on Vestas’ vast experience in wind projects around the world and on Vestas and Downer’s successful track record of project delivery in Australia.

“This is the latest in a number of recent announcements for the project that will hopefully see boots on the ground before Christmas,” Mr Yeates said.

He said Vestas and Downer would share responsibility for the entire 180MW project, including the supply and construction of more than 50 turbines, a substation, cabling to the grid, civil and electrical works, and wind monitoring equipment.

Mr Yeates confirmed the contractors would provide many opportunities for local workers and suppliers.

The wind farm site at Walkamin on the Atherton Tableland.

“The Vestas and Downer submission clearly demonstrated that their companies very much share Ratch’s commitment to providing clear pathways for local people to participate in the project,” Mr Yeates said.

“Downer, which has an office in Cairns, will largely take responsibility for local purchasing which is likely to include a wide range of products and services from fencing contractors, concreters, welders, electricians, plant and equipment operators, transport contractors and administrators.”

He said employment during the two-year construction phase was expected to peak above 150, while 15 permanent jobs would be created to operate the wind farm.

Potential project suppliers or workers should visit www.downergroup.com.au to register their interest.

Green light for Hughenden renewable energy project

The news follows Flinders Shire Council’s development approval last week for a $120 million renewable energy project that is proposed as the first stage of Kennedy Energy Park, south-east of Hughenden.

Proponent Windlab, which is partnering with Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation of Japan, says construction will commence early in 2017 and is set to create more than 50 direct jobs.

It describes the development as an innovative world-leading wind, solar and storage hybrid energy solution comprising of 30MW of wind generation, 20MW of solar and 2MW of Li ion battery storage.

It will consist of 9 to 12 turbines depending on final selection and up to 200,000 solar panels. The solar panels will be single axis tracking to maximise potential from the western setting sun. Windlab said 2MW of Li ion storage, equivalent in size to four shipping containers, would also be located on site.

“Hughenden is almost unique in that it enjoys one of the best wind resources in Australia, co-located with one of the best solar resources. Furthermore, they are highly consistent and complementary; when the sun sets the wind ramps up and continues through to the morning after the sun rises. It is this unique characteristic that will allowKennedy to provide a near base load generation profile,” Windlab project director Geoff Burns said.

Windlab intends to build more than 1000MW of wind and solar generation north of Hughenden after completing this first stage of the Kennedy development.