Coopers Gap wind turbine blades hit the road

The largest wind turbine blades ever transported in Australia begin their journey

The largest wind turbine blades ever transported in Australia have hit the road in Queensland.

Bound for the 435MW Coopers Gap Wind Farm, located near Kingaroy in South East Queensland, the largest blades are 67.2m long and weigh 22 tonnes.

The total capacity of the project will be 453MW making it the largest wind farm by MW capacity in Australia.

It’s expected to be fully operational by mid-2019.

A trial delivery of blades was successfully completed on Tuesday, in preparation for sustained overnight deliveries for the remainder of this year.

AGL project manager Tim Knill said several shipments of wind farm components, including the blades, have arrived at the Port of Brisbane and are in storage awaiting transportation.

“The movement of such large pieces of equipment requires detailed planning and we are predicting approximately 1200 oversize movements, involving blades, hubs, tower sections and nacelles,” he said.

“We aim to minimise the impacts on commuters so many of the movements are done at night time.

“However, at times we will need to have major sections of highways, including the Toowoomba Range, closed to align with our commitment to safety.”

Mr Knill said the long blades ensure more energy is captured by every wind turbine.

“This brings down the cost of generation, but creates a high level of complexity in managing the transportation,” hesaid.

“In total, the project will see the construction of 123 wind turbines, comprising 91 3.63MW turbines (137m rotor diameter) and 32 3.83MW (130m rotor diameter) turbines.”

The wind turbines will have a tip height of 180m, with a hub height of 110m.

The project was also delivered two 200-tonne electricity transformers at Cooranga North near Kingaroy.

Queensland Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the transformers were on the site of a new substation under construction beside AGL’s Coopers Gap wind farm, midway between Kingaroy and Dalby.

“This is a major milestone for Coopers Gap and required special trucks to transport the transformers more than 260km from the Port of Brisbane,” Dr Lynham said.

“The renewable energy produced from the wind farm’s 123 turbines will also reduce carbon emissions by 1.18 million tonnes annually, the equivalent of taking 340,000 cars off the road.

“Importantly, it will create up to 200 jobs in the region during construction, while Powerlink’s substation and grid connection works will support 26 jobs.”

Coopers Gap is also a coordinated project, a special status that allows the Queensland’s independent Co-ordinator-General to use his powers to cut red tape and help AGL deliver the project.

Powerlink chief executive Merryn York said Powerlink was proud to play an instrumental role in connecting one of Australia’s largest wind farms to the electricity grid.

“These transformers are the most significant pieces of equipment required for Powerlink’s work to connect the wind farm to the electricity transmission network,” she said.

Transmission connection construction work is on track to be completed by late 2018, depending on weather.