Woolnorth Wind Farm
Client: Hydro Tasmania / Roaring 40s
Location: South Australia, Australia
Developing a wind farm, from site identification through to operation, adding valuable renewable energy generation capacity.
The Woolnorth Wind Farm site is located on the historic grazing property of Woolnorth, on the far north-west tip of Tasmania and generates valuable renewable electricity from the cleanest air and some of the best wind resources in the world. The Woolnorth Wind Farm contributes 65 MW to Tasmania’s total generation capacity which is dominated by hydropower.
The complete Woolnorth development consists of 37 Vestas V66 1.75 MW wind turbines plus transmission line connecting to the Smithton substation. The 65 MW project was completed in 2004. The wind farm was developed in two stages, and was one of Australia’s largest wind farms at the time of completion.
Entura provided services including site identification, land acquisition, wind monitoring, technical feasibility, environmental impact assessment and development approvals and pre-tendering for major equipment components.
The technical feasibility included wind resource modelling, wind farm layout design, wind turbine selection, geological studies, transmission line and switchyard project design, preliminary cost estimates, financial and risk analysis.
Contract and procurement services were provided and included preparation of an expression of interest, pre-qualification of wind turbine suppliers, evaluation of wind turbine tender material, plus construction packaging and supervision.
At Woolnorth, the stringent requirements of the then new Commonwealth EPBC (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act), as well as relevant state and local government legislation, had to be met. Entura carried out the environmental impact assessment and approvals process for the wind farm and the transmission line. Key issues included bird collision risk and management strategies, vegetation, Woolnorth wind farm operation management, visual effects and transmission line siting and stakeholder issues. Visual assessment was aided by Entura’s sophisticated 3D modelling capability.
Entura developed and applied innovative techniques to meet the then new EPBC Act, triggered by the presence of threatened and migratory bird species. The wind farm was the first in Australia to gain approval under the EPBC Act.
Entura was also intrinsically involved in Woolnorth being one of the first wind farms to meet the requirements of registration for the National Electricity Market, particularly through the development of wind turbine block models.
The wind farm continues to operate successfully to supply wind energy to the Tasmanian network and into the National Electricity Market.