Major milestones this week for Musselroe Wind Farm

The final international shipment of components for wind turbines arrives at Bell Bay
17 January 2013

Two key milestones for the Musselroe Wind Farm were reached this week, with the arrival of the final international shipment of components for turbines, and erection of the first fully complete wind turbine on site.

The $395 million, 168 megawatt wind farm is under construction in north-east Tasmania and is due to be completed and operational by 1 July 2013.

The Clipper Makiri arrived at the Bell Bay port from Italy this week, carrying blades, turbines and hubs that will eventually sit atop wind towers at the Musselroe site. The ship will take a few days to unload completely, and components will be progressively transported to the Musselroe site.

This week also saw ‘topping out’ of the first turbine tower, with all components lifted into place atop an 80-metre high turbine tower.
Tasmania’s Energy Minister Bryan Green said this week’s milestones demonstrate the continued value the Musselroe project is providing for Tasmania, in particular the north-east of the state.

“I expect the first turbines to be generating to the grid in March. Once it’s fully operational in the middle of this year, 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,” Mr Green said.

Project Director Andrew Hickman said civil works on the project are substantially complete, including wind turbine foundations, road and hardstands, the control building, switchyard and transmission line foundations. 

Mr Hickman said some aspects of the project have required use of specialised equipment.

“Lifting of the top sections, nacelles and blades requires a unique type of crane. The 1200 tonne crane we are using is the largest model telescopic crawler crane in the world.

“Its task is a big one – to complete each tower, 80 tonnes of nacelle must be lifted 80 metres into the air,” Mr Hickman said.

Completion of the 48 kilometre transmission line has also presented logistical challenges.

“The path of the transmission line runs across some inaccessible terrain. The most efficient and cost-effective way to string the line through those areas is by helicopter.”

Manufacture of major components is largely complete, with the fabrication of the wind turbine tower sections by Launceston-based Haywards approaching completion and other components and equipment having either arrived or currently in transit.

For more information please contact Samantha Meyer on 03 6230 5746.

Unloading the shipment of wind turbine componentsThe first blade being lifted into posititon on the first turbine to be completed at the Musselroe Wind FarmThe first two wind turbines completed with the third underway