First Turbines In Place For Tasmanian Wind Farm

Construction of Musselroe Wind Farm in Tasmania is well under way, with last week seeing the final international shipment of components for turbines reaching the Apple Isle’s shores and the first fully complete wind turbine and tower constructed on site.
All components were lifted into place to “top out” the 80-metre high turbine tower and it appears a couple of other towers have also had turbines set in place since.
The task of installing 80 tonnes of nacelle was no mean feat. According to Project Director Andrew Hickman, highly specialised equipment was used.
“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.”
Turbine placement hasn’t been the only challenge – parts of the 48 kilometre transmission line to Derby needed to traverse some inaccessible terrain. Mr Hickman said the most efficient and cost-effective way to string the line through those sections is by helicopter.
Situated at Cape Portland in north-east Tasmania – approximately 100 kilometres north-east of Launceston – the $395 million, 168 megawatt Hydro Tasmania facility is to be completed and operational by 1 July 2013. 
Tasmania’s Energy Minister Bryan Green said the first turbines will be generating electricity and exporting power to the mains 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,” he said.
Hydro Tasmania also operate an advanced hybrid power system on King Island that utilizes wind, solar, diesel and innovative energy enabling technologies.
Tasmania enjoys world-class wind energy resources as it lies directly in the path of the roaring 40s, the prevailing westerly winds that circle the Earth’s high southern latitudes.