Wind energy in Australia, Warradarge wind farm north of Perth

The last of 51 wind turbines at the Warradarge wind farm north of Perth in Western Australia has been installed, and what will be the second-biggest wind power facility in the state is expected to start sending its first output to the grid soon.

The milestone was announced by global wind turbine manufacturer and developer Vestas, which is providing 51 of its V123 wind turbines, which have a capacity rating of 3.45 MW each.

The development is owned by Bright Energy Investments, in turn a venture combining state-owned retailer Synergy, and investors Dutch Infrastructure Fund and Australian super fund CBus. The construction and balance of the plant works were undertaken by Perth-based Decmil, which recently announced its withdrawal from full EPC contracting for the solar industry, due to the risks and complexity of connection agreements.

The amount of large scale renewable energy is increasingly dramatically in 2020, with the recent start of generation from the nearby 212 Yandin wind farm, which will hold the rank as the biggest in the stake, and the start of output from the 100 MW Merredin solar farm, east of Perth, which also began production recently.

The construction of Warradarge included 55 km of new gravel roads around the 3,800 ha site and 117 km of underground 33kV electrical cabling has been laid by the construction workforce that averaged around 125 people during construction.

Its website says power is produced at wind speeds of 3m to 27m per second, but in high winds the blades automatically pitch into the wind to slow down the turbines. It says the wind turbines can withstand wind speeds on site of up to 150km/hr.

Giles Parkinson

Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of Renew Economy, and is also the founder of One Step Off The Grid and founder/editor of The Driven. Giles has been a journalist for 35 years and is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review.