After almost ten years in the making, the first wind turbine has been successfully installed at the Granville Harbour Wind Farm site near Zeehan, marking a significant achievement for the project team.
Workers on site were thrilled to see the first wind turbine completed on Friday, but no one was more excited than landholder, Royce Smith, and business partner Alex Simpson, who conceived the idea to build a wind farm at a remote cattle farm on Tasmania’s West Coast many years ago.
“Alex and I first had the idea to build a wind farm at Granville Farm over ten years ago.
“It’s been a long and challenging process, and at certain points it has felt like it was never going to happen, so seeing the first turbine up is a pretty special moment,” said Mr Smith.
Project Director, Lyndon Frearson, said the first 3.6 megawatt turbine was a major milestone for the project and reflected many months of planning and a huge team effort to ensure the installation was carried out safely and smoothly.
“This is the first of 31 wind turbines to be installed at the site. Recently we’ve been hampered by poor weather on site which has slowed our progress, but now that the weather is turning we are full steam ahead and if weather permits, hope to complete another two turbines by the end of the month.”
After installing the turbine’s 118-tonne nacelle earlier this week, a 30 strong team worked for 13 hours to install the turbine’s three 62-metre long blades using a Leibherr 1750 Superlift Crane reaching 150 metres into the sky.
When operating, the turbine’s blades will ‘sweep’ an area approximately 12,470 m2 – about the size of two soccer pitches.
Each wind turbine will reach almost 200 metres above ground at the blade tip – making these the tallest in Tasmania.
Mr Frearson said construction of the wind farm was progressing well with 200 workers helping out on the project at the peak of construction.
“We’ve now got the transmission line complete, over half of the wind turbine foundations are poured and energisation of the switchyard is expected by the end of the month.”
The $280 million wind farm is expected to be complete mid next year.
Once operational, Granville Harbour Wind Farm will produce clean energy to power around 46,000 Tasmanian homes.