ABB?s Power Technology Selected for Largest Wind Energy Project in Western Australia

A contract worth $4.5 million to supply wind power technology for the Collgar Wind Farm project has been awarded to ABB, according to an announcement by ABB Australia .

Situated 25km south east of Merredin in Western Australia, the Collgar Wind Farm project is the largest single stage wind energy development currently under construction in the southern hemisphere.

The wind farm will generate approximately 792,000 megawatt hours of renewable electricity per year from 111 wind turbines, enough to power more than 125,000 homes.

Additionally, the wind power project aims to displace more than one million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually, equivalent to taking more than 250,000 cars off the road.

ABB will supply over 200 custom-built SafeWind medium voltage switchgears to be installed inside the wind turbine towers. The units will isolate and switch the 33 kV reticulation power generated by the turbine.

All the live parts and switching components are protected in a stainless steel tank to ensure the highest levels of reliability and safety as well as a long and trouble-free service life in the harsh and often inaccessible environments that are typical of wind farms.

Speaking of ABB’s role in the wind farm project, Russell Zammit, business development manager for ABB Australia says that ABB provided technical support early in the project’s design phase and identified the lifecycle advantages that their new slimline 33 kV switchgear offered to the Collgar project.

Key advantages of SafeWind medium voltage switchgears

* Slimline design with 420mm width, small enough to fit through the narrow doorway of the turbine tower
* Compact construction allows the switchgear unit to be installed after the tower is raised
* Facilitates cost-savings over traditional wind turbine switchgears especially during future modifications or retro-fitting
* State-of-the-art SafeWind switchgears ensure consistent and stable revenue by reducing possible generating downtime

ABB was also selected to supply the electrical balance of plant (EBoP) by lead contractors Downer Engineering and Vestas Wind Systems.

Power technology supplied to the facilities’ substation include ABB’s 275 kV high voltage equipment, current and voltage transformer disconnectors, earthing switches, surge arrestors, 33 kV primary switchgear distribution boards as well as distribution transformers for site power and auxiliary supplies.

Additionally, two ABB 190 MVA power transformers, awarded under an earlier contract will be installed at the wind farm to ensure the efficient transmission of renewable electricity into WA’s South West Interconnected System power grid.

ABB, a leader in power and automation technologies is one of the world’s largest independent suppliers of internal electrical components, controls and grid connections for wind power projects.