‘Spec­tac­u­lar con­struc­tion’ un­der­way

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY DEAN LAW­SON

Wind tow­ers will start be­com­ing a prom­i­nent fea­ture on the Wim­mera sky­line be­tween Hor­sham and War­rackn­abeal by the end of the year.

Con­struc­tion on tower foun­da­tions is well un­der­way at a Murra Warra Wind Farm site, with ex­pec­ta­tions the first of the gi­ant struc­tures will go up in the next two months.

Murra Warra Wind Farm spokes­woman Su­san Find­lay-tick­ner said work was on sched­ule for a 61-tower first-stage roll­out, with the first tower pieces ar­riv­ing at Port­land docks last week.

A ship trans­port­ing 70.5-me­tre 20-tonne blades from China to Aus­tralia is now on its way to Port­land and is ex­pected to dock in mid-novem­ber.

Ms Find­lay-tick­ner said work was com­plete on more than half of the tower foun­da­tions and tower work would start as part of a ‘rolling’ con­struc­tion pro­gram.

“There will soon be a crane on site that is one of the big­gest in the world and there is go­ing to be some spec­tac­u­lar con­struc­tion work hap­pen­ing,” she said.

Ms Find­lay-tick­ner said Sen­vion, the com­pany re­spon­si­ble for build­ing and sup­ply­ing parts for the wind farm, had al­ready em­ployed an eight-per­son main­te­nance team.

“The project will cre­ate 320 jobs dur­ing the build stage,” she said.

Ms Find­lay-tick­ner said the buildup in ac­tiv­ity at the site had gen­er­ated con­sid­er­able pub­lic in­ter­est and prompted the or­gan­i­sa­tion of es­corted tours this Sun­day.

“The short no­tice is both to cater for the sud­den pub­lic in­ter­est in the wind farm and to fit it in around the con­struc­tion sched­ule,” she said.

“We’re deal­ing with a rapidly de­vel­op­ing seven-day-a-week work site where there is a lot of ac­tiv­ity and a lot of heavy ma­chin­ery, so peo­ple can’t sim­ply wan­der out and have a look around.

“Guided tours are es­sen­tial for vis­i­tors and work­ers on the site.

“We un­der­stand that it’s gen­er­at­ing a lot of in­ter­est and peo­ple want to have a look and that’s why we’ve or­gan­ised the tours.”

Peo­ple keen to go tours can gather at 10am and noon at Sailors Home Hall on Blue Rib­bon Road, Murra Warra.

There will be pre­sen­ta­tions be­fore groups board a bus for 45-minute tours.

“It will pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to see how it is be­ing built and what the fu­ture of Murra Warra looks like,” Ms Find­lay-tick­ner said.

In­for­ma­tion is avail­able by call­ing 1800 940 487 and on­line book­ings by vis­it­ing www.trybook­ing.com/zdyh are es­sen­tial.

Stage one of the project is sched­uled to be op­er­a­tional and pro­vid­ing power equiv­a­lent to meet­ing the needs of 220,000 houses to the state elec­tric­ity grid by Au­gust 19 next year.

Part of an on­go­ing com­mit­ment is to pro­vide $61,000 to dis­trict com­mu­nity groups an­nu­ally.

Re­new­able En­ergy Sys­tems and Mac­quarie Cap­i­tal de­vel­oped the wind farm and RES re­mains con­struc­tion and as­set man­ager.

De­vel­op­ers are ex­plor­ing sec­ond-stage devel­op­ment, in­volv­ing a fur­ther 55 wind tur­bines, a so­lar farm and en­ergy-stor­age project.

ON THEIR WAY: Blades for the new wind farm devel­op­ment at Murra Warra are be­ing shipped to Aus­tralia from China. The 20-tonne blades are ex­pected to reach dock at Port­land in mid-novem­ber.

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