Cattle Hill Wind Farm now generating electricity

Goldwind
Gullen Range Wind Farm. Image courtesy of Goldwind Australia

The Cattle Hill Wind Farm has officially spun to life, with the first Goldwind turbine connected to the Tasmanian transmission network and generating electricity. 

Goldwind Managing Director John Titchen said Friday’s ceremony was a very exciting day in the life of the project.

“When fully operational, the Cattle Hill Wind Farm will generate enough clean energy to power the equivalent of approximately 63,500 Tasmanian homes each year,” Mr Titchen said.

“Significantly, the project will help the Tasmanian Government reach its goal of an additional 1,000- gigawatt hours of on-island renewable energy by the end of 2022, contributing around half of the additional generation needed.

“31 of 48 Goldwind turbines have been fully installed, with two main cranes now installing on site.

“Pre-commissioning of turbines has been underway for some time and generation commissioning is now ongoing.

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“The project team has met a number of environmental challenges during the construction to date, such as bushfire, significant snow and wind, and scheduling of works to minimise disturbance during Tasmanian Wedge-tailed eagle breeding period.

“The highly focussed team, with high levels of communication with project stakeholders, have met and overcome these challenges with positivity and little impact to the overall project schedule.”

Mr. Titchen said approximately 150 jobs have been created during the construction period on site as well as additional offsite work from Tasmanian project partners.

This includes:
• Hazell Bros – construction of the civil and electrical works for the project
• TasNetworks – connecting the project to the transmission network
• Gradco – upgrades to local roads close to the project area ($10 million contract value)
• Haywards – providing 20 per cent of the tower components ($8 million contract value), and
• Many other smaller scale Tasmanian subcontractors and suppliers.

“Transportation of Goldwind turbine components started in March, following $10 million of road upgrades in the Central Highlands area by the Launceston based company, Gradco, with approximately 528 oversize loads having been transported to the project site,” Mr Titchen said.

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Mr Titchen said the project partners were particularly proud to have been the first in Australia to install the cutting-edge technology to reduce impacts on the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle. 

“Through artificial intelligence and machine learning during the turbine commissioning period, the IdentiFlight technology is expected to become highly proficient at identifying Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagles,” Mr. Titchen said.

16 IdentiFlight stations have been installed across the site that will detect Tasmanian Edge-tailed Eagles and shut down nearby turbines as needed. IdentiFlight has now started operating with initial turbine operation.

An official ceremony was held on site on Friday to mark the occasion of the first energy generation.