20 September 2017
Construction of the Mount Emerald Wind Farm has reached another major milestone with the first shipment of project freight arriving in Cairns today.
The vessel Oldendorff Erna arrived at the Port carrying tower sections for Ratch Australia Corporation’s $360 million project. Over the life of the project’s construction, six cargo vessels containing blades, towers and more than 450 components will transit through The Port of Cairns totalling an estimated 185,000 revenue tonnes of cargo.
The unloading or the cargo is expected to take three days. It will be transported from the wharf to the newly constructed project cargo laydown area in Tingira Street, Portsmith, before being trucked to the 2,422 hectare development site near Walkamin in early October.
Trucks will head south from Cairns and use the Palmerston and Kennedy Highways to get to Walkamin, before using Hansen and Springmount Roads to get to site.
All parts will be delivered with the approval from the Department of Transport and Main Roads for oversize loads according to a detailed route assessment plan.
There will be 53 wind turbines delivered in all. Each turbine will have a capacity exceeding 3 megawatt (MW) for a total capacity of around 180MW. The wind farm will deliver in the order of 540,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy, which is predicted to meet the annual needs of approximately 75,000 north Queensland homes over a 20-year period.
The project will use turbines manufactured and supplied by wind energy global leader Vestas. The tallest turbine has a 90m tower height and 57m blade length. Each blade weighs 16 tonnes, while the heaviest part is the turbine head or nacelle, which is 120 tonnes. Around 500 cubic metres (the equivalent of 80 concrete trucks) will be required for the foundations for each of the towers. The first foundation was poured in August.
Powerlink started construction of a dedicated 275kV substation to connect the wind farm to its transmission network earlier this month.
The timeline for this boost to the grid is September 2018. Once fully operational, Mount Emerald will be the biggest wind farm in Queensland.
Ratch Business Development Manager, Mr Anthony Yeates said no stone had been left unturned to deliver a project that the region could be proud of.
“We’re confident that we will deliver a world class wind farm project that will serve as a global benchmark,” Mr Yeates said.
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