Heavy haulage and helicopter
WORKS on the exciting new Murra Warra RES wind farm, with an
estimated total cost of $650 million are rapidly ramping up, particularly this week, as the first of the massive transport haul of wind turbine tower sections and turbine nascelles arrived on huge multi-wheeled, heavy low loaders transports in a trial run from Portland over the week.
The heavy loads are leaving Portland in the early hours of the day on each shipment, to
minimise disruption to traffic over the tortuous trip, needing to skirt narrow sections of road and avoiding places where there would be clearance issues for the loads.
It was the first of many hundreds of big shifts’ that will take place over the future weeks and months of the project, as the wind turbine components start to arrive on site, about 25 kilometres south west of Warracknabeal.
There are three different routes depending on the over dimensional size of each load travelling through Hamilton, around Horsham to Dimboola and down the Minyip road to the construction site.
Transport logistics teams are still testing the time each component takes to reach the wind farm on different routes that the blades, nascelles, tower pieces and hubs will be taking between Portland and Murra Warra.
Erection of the towers is anticipated to commence on Saturday December 1, with the crane – a Liebherr LG 1750, having a massive 193m hoist height.
Just as spectacular, this week was the stringing of cables between the power towers using a helicopter starting on Monday.
The jet powered helicopter, piloted by a highly skilled pilot, towed a lead line along the power poles and showed amazing agility in often trying weather and wind gusts, managed to hook the cable over a pulley on each tower, pulling the cable along to the next tower from the winch site.
The ‘stringing’ started on Monday and continued through to Wednesday afternoon. During
the process a Franna crane was set up to with a pulley to take up the slack of the cable as is was pulled.
Murra Warra is a 429MW on-shore windfarm being developed by a joint venture between RES Australia and Macquarie Capital. A planning proposal for the windpower project was submitted to the Victorian Minister for Planning in July 2016 and the same was
approved in November that year. Construction contracts for the project were signed in December 2017.
The windfarm is being developed in two stages at an estimated total cost of $650m
and is expected to operate for 25 years. Construction of the $247m stage started earlier
this year, while operations are scheduled to begin in August 2019. Stage two is expected to commence operations in 2020.
The construction phase of the project will generate 610 jobs, including 235 direct jobs
and 375 indirect jobs.
The Murra Warra windfarm is on 10,502 acres of farmland used for sheep grazing and broadacre cropping. It will be installed with 116 Senvion 3.7M 144 turbines with hardstands.
“The Murra Warra windfarm is expected to power 250,000 Victorian homes a year, while reducing 1.3 million tonnes (Mt) of greenhouse gas emissions.”
The first stage will include the installation of 61 turbines, which will deliver 226MW
of clean energy, while the second stage will include 55 turbines that will generate power sufficient for more than 220,000 Victorian homes.