‘Spectacular construction’ underway
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.