Construction of Goldwind Australia's 144MW Cattle Hill wind farm in Tasmania's Central Highlands has reached a new milestone, with the unveiling of the project's first fully completed turbine.
The first of the wind farm's 48 turbines was officially unveiled by Tasmania Premier Will Hodgman and energy minister Guy Barnett on what turned out to be a very foggy Friday – as you can see in the image above.
In a statement
, Barnett – who has been known to sport a turbine-decorated tie – said that the project had been a “game changer” for the Central Highlands region, by employing around 150 people during construction, and up to 10 permanent maintenance staff once completed.
“Tasmanian businesses have been engaged with the project since its inception, including Hobart based Hazell Bros which is undertaking the full civil and electrical works for the project, Launceston based company Grandco, which is undertaking over $10 million of road upgrades in the Central Highlands region, and Haywards our local manufacturer for 20 per cent of the wind turbine towers.”
Barnett also said the project – which will boost the island state's wind energy capacity by 50 per cent – was a key ingredient of Tasmania's ambitious plan to power itself and the mainland using its abundant resource of wind energy and pumped hydro storage.
“Such a significant development helps underpin the importance of our Battery of the Nation Plan and the state and federal Liberal government's $86 million investment in that plan and Project Marinus – nationally significant energy developments that have the potential to inject billions into the Tasmanian economy and deliver thousands of local jobs,” he said.
“Once complete, this wind farm will produce enough clean energy to power approximately 63,500 Tasmanian homes while also supporting the Hodgman Liberal Government's Tasmania-First Energy policy to be 100 per cent self-sufficient in renewables by 2022.”
Goldwind is developing the Cattle Hill project in partnership with Power China Resource Limited (PCR) – a subsidiary of the state-owned EPC contractor PowerChina, as we reported here
In comments at the turbine unveiling, Goldwind Australia managing director John Titchen said the rest of the turbines would installed over the coming months, and that the project would be completed by the end of this year.
Sophie is editor of One Step Off The Grid
and deputy editor of its sister site, Renew Economy
. Sophie has been writing about clean energy for more than a decade.