Temperatures will vary from +30°C in high summer to just above freezing on chilly mornings. The site’s topography also requires sophisticated civil engineering works, requiring additional contractors and machinery to meet the completion date.
So far, the team has completed around one third of the 23km of site tracks necessary to access the 5100Ha (100 acres) site. Two purpose-built transformers arrived in March on special lorries under escort, having navigated the rural roads between Balarat and the wind farm site to avoid centres of population.
At the end of April, the 128 tonne, 132/220kV transformer that will convert Ararat Wind Farm's 240MW of renewable electricity for delivery to the grid arrived at the new terminal station in Elmhurst. Local residents were invited to a free barbeque at the local hotel to view the transformer’s arrival. This transformer represents the biggest single component of the Aus$450 million construction programme and will be connected to the wind farm via a 21.5km transmission line.
A concrete batching plant has also been established on site and is busy producing the thousands of tonnes of concrete required to build the wind farm. Just over half of Ararat’s turbines will be secured on gravity foundations, with the remainder being erected on rock anchors. Each of Ararat’s 75 foundations comprises up to 350m3of concrete and 35 tonnes of reinforcing steel. The first foundation was successfully completed in early April.
RES (Renewable Energy Systems) is one of the world’s leading independent renewable energy companies. At the forefront of renewable energy development for over 30 years, RES has developed and/or built over 10GW of renewable energy capacity worldwide. RES' core activities are onshore wind, offshore wind and solar, and technologies that will be enablers to a low carbon future – Energy Storage, Demand Side Management and Transmission. RES is headquartered in the United Kingdom and operates across the globe.