Work to start on $400m Musselroe wind farm

6 December 2011

Construction of the 168 Megawatt (MW) Musselroe wind farm in north east Tasmania will begin this month.

The Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings today announced that Hydro Tasmania had finalised major contracts enabling the $400 million project to proceed. This included the supply and installation by Danish company Vestas of 56 V90 turbines, each having a generating capacity of 3MW.

Ms Giddings made the announcement at the Launceston factory of Tasmanian steel fabrication and construction company Haywards, who will manufacture the tower sections of the turbines for Vestas.

Hydro Tasmania expects more than 200 people will be directly working on the project during the 18-month construction phase, with approximately 130 of these based on site or in accommodation at Gladstone during construction.

Hydro Tasmania Chairman Dr David Crean said the business was very pleased to see work commence on a project that has been in the planning stages for many years.

“Today marks formal commencement of a project that both Hydro Tasmania and the local community in particular have wanted to see built for a long time,” Dr Crean said.

“A number of factors have finally come together to enable the commercial construction of Musselroe to proceed. Most notably are the Federal Government's Renewable Energy Target scheme and the pricing of carbon emissions.

“We look forward to work starting and being an integral part of the local community both during construction and when the wind farm is operational.

"This is a top class project at a top class wind site that when completed will continue to build the reputation of both the State and Hydro Tasmania as leaders in renewable energy development.”

Dr Crean said the finalisation of contracts represented the culmination of a lot of work from a dedicated team.

“Now that we have all these elements in place, the construction team can begin to mobilise on the ground and see this exciting project come to life,” he said.

The first stage of the project will involve construction of the 50km transmission line connecting the development at Cape Portland with the network at Derby starting later this month. At the same time there will be further civil works to create roads and pole foundations in addition to the civil works associated with the project undertaken during 2009.

Establishment of site offices at Cape Portland will begin in January 2012, and it is expected the first foundations for wind turbines will be poured in first half of 2012.
 
The construction schedule aims to have the tower sections delivered to the site in late 2012, and the turbines arriving from Europe and being lifted into position starting in early 2013. The wind farm is expected to be completed and operating by July 2013.

Once operational, the wind farm will meet the electricity needs of up to 50,000 homes, equivalent to the residential power needs of the people of Burnie and Devonport. It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 450,000 tonnes each year.

The project is a key part of Hydro Tasmania’s wind development strategy following the end of the Roaring 40s joint venture earlier in the year. It will be initially funded on Hydro Tasmania’s balance sheet. Funds released from the pending completion of the Woolnorth wind farm divestment process announced in September will also contribute toward the project.

Hydro Tasmania currently operates the 140MW Bluff Point and Studland Bay wind farms (collectively known as Woolnorth) in north-west Tasmania. The new financial partner for Woolnorth will have the opportunity to be a partner in the Musselroe project.

The process to divest up to 75 per cent of Woolnorth is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

In September, Hydro Tasmania announced a profit before fair value of $100 million for 2010-11 as a result of higher rainfall and increased revenue from its mainland operations. This will see returns to the Tasmanian Government in 2011-12 totalling around $118 million, including a dividend of $49 million.

ends

For further information contact Ian Colvin on 0417576378

The Government media release is linked here.

Contact details

For employment enquiries, contact:
Civil works: Hazell Bros (03) 6277 7807
Electrical and trenching works: Consolidated Power Projects  (08) 8291 7800

For all other queries please contact the project team:

p | 1300 360 441
e | contactus@hydro.com.au

 

Project summary
• The Musselroe Wind Farm site is located in the Dorset Municipality 20km north of the small township of Gladstone. The site at Cape Portland is an agricultural property encompassing some 5500 hectares of coastal plains, lagoons and dune systems.

• The $400 million wind farm will consist of 56 Vestas V90 turbines, each having a generating capacity of 3 MW.

• The project has already received environmental and planning approval from Commonwealth, state and local authorities. Significant work on ground under way with broad range of local stakeholders.

• Expected to employ more than 200 people during the 18-month construction phase. Approximately 130 to be based on site or in accommodation at Gladstone.

• Once operational, the wind farm will meet the electricity needs of up to 50,000 homes, equivalent to the residential power needs of the people of Burnie and Devonport. It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 450,000 tonnes each year.

Expected project timeline

December 2011
Start on construction of the 50km transmission line connecting the development at Cape Portland with the network at Derby
Civil works create roads and pole foundations in addition to those associated with the project undertaken during 2009.

January 2012
Establishment of site offices at Cape Portland

First half 2012
Pouring of first foundations for wind turbines

Late 2012
Tower sections delivered to the site in late 2012

Early 2013
Turbines arrive from Euro and lifted into position

July 2013
Construction completed and wind farm operational