Mount Emerald Wind Farm
Ratch Australia is building the $380M Mt Emerald Wind Farm on 2400Ha of private land on the plateau adjacent to the Mt Emerald/ Springmount area. Approx ½ way between Mareeba and Atherton. 5km west of Walkamin.
- 37* 3.45MW turbines will have 117m diameter rotor on a 90m tower
- 16* 3.3MW turbines will have 112m diameter rotor on an 84m tower
Turbine blades will be 57m long.
This will supply on average 1/3 of the power needs of Far North Queensland.
Mt Emerald Wind Farm developer RATCH Australia, has created this website site to inform the community of progress as construction occurs and answer many of the questions that are raised by the communities in which wind farms are proposed and operated.
Under each of the headings are a series of questions answered with the latest local, national and international information available, including summaries of results of EIS studies that have been conducted specific to the site.
Actual reports of the EIS and other more technical information relative to the project is available at: www.ratchaustralia.com/
This site will be updated regularly as the new information becomes available. If you have any questions or requests for additional information, please use our contact form here.
Mt Emerald Wind Farm is a ‘greenfield wind farm development’ meaning that the land upon which the wind farm is located has had no previous commercial land-use.
Development has been approved for up to 63 turbines at this site – however only 53 are to be constructed. A reduction in the number of turbines from the original proposed 75, is a result of:
- community consultation and site assessment;
- discussion with government and other key stakeholders;
- to locate the turbines to avoid quoll habitat, and move some turbines from prominent ridgelines to reduce the visual and cultural heritage impact of the site works.
- Estimated Construction Cost ~ $380 – $400 Million.
- Estimated Annual Generation will be 500-600 GWh per annum, which will generate electricity to power the average use of 75,000 – 90,000 homes (1/3 of homes in FNQ)
- Approximately 40km of new site roads will be required to bring the turbines to site safely, and to connect the turbines once constructed.
- To enable connection to the existing 275kV NEM Powerlink Transmission line, which traverses the site, a new 33/275kV substation and switching yard will be constructed. Adjacent to the sub-station, a dedicated on-site O&M compound and control room will also be built for RATCH operational staff.
The land comprises 2400Ha, whose orientation and elevation make it ideal as a wind farm.
- It has an excellent wind resource
- There are relatively few residences near the site
- It is close to the electricity grid, reducing the length of the transmission line
- EIS studies show minimal environmental and social impact
The site land is a rough plateau (elevation 900m) elevated approx 300m above the surrounding plains and is comprised of sparse natural scrubland with some rocky outcrops. The property is currently not used for any particular activity. The surrounding land is predominantly used for agriculture and grazing. The local landmark, Mt Emerald (elevation 1122m) is roughly 2km from the southern boundary of the site.
Project Delivery Timeline
November 2016Sunwater pipeline works at Kippen Drive intersection. All financing secured for project
Feb 2017Vestas formally handed site. Preliminary construction works begin - road upgrades, site office erection.
Local procurement has commenced, with: • Koppens and Mareeba Crane Hire constructing the concrete culvert to protect the irrigation channel during December 2016. • A new vehicle purchased from Mareeba Toyota, January 2017 • Contracting of the MBarBarrum Aboriginal Corporation to undertake Cultural Heritage surveys and assist with environmental surveys during the entire construction period.…
Project and Compliance Updates
Early works commenced February 14th on the transport depot laydown area at the base of the site. All pre-start UXO, Cultural Heritage and Environmental surveys have been conducted to verify the site is ‘ready to go’. Flagging of works area has occurred to limit the extent of clearing, in preparation for pad establishment. Letters of…