State’s biggest wind farm powers up with Australia’s best wind

Western Australia’s biggest wind farm, the Yandin Wind Farm, was officially opened today and is now powering businesses across the state with affordable, clean energy.

Located in the wheatbelt town of Dandaragan, 175 kilometres north of Perth, Yandin, a RATCH-Australia and Alinta Energy investment, managed by Alinta Energy, is expected to produce more renewable energy than any other wind farm in WA, using 51 4.2MW turbines supplied by global manufacturer Vestas.

Dandaragan is now on the map for its windy conditions. While most wind farms rely on strong and consistent wind from one direction, Dandaragan is buffeted from different directions at different times – a south-westerly in the afternoon, and an easterly overnight. Coupled with the latest turbine technology, it will be one of the best performing wind farms in the country.

Ken Woolley, Alinta Energy’s Executive Director of Merchant Energy, said the wind farm would power the equivalent of approximately 200,000 households across Western Australia each year.

“The capacity factor for this project is around 50 per cent. Without getting into engineering-speak, that’s better than most other wind farms we know of in the country. Dandaragan is probably home to Australia’s best wind for wind farming. 

“Yandin also represents Alinta Energy’s first and most significant direct investment in a renewable energy project of this scale – and we’re thrilled to have done it in WA,” Mr Woolley said.

“The Yandin wind farm will produce cleaner, more affordable renewable energy for Western Australians, and when combined with our gas-fired power stations, it will also help us to use gas more efficiently – which will be good for us, good for our customers, and good for the environment,” he said. 

Mr Woolley said the project would leave a positive legacy for the state and local community for decades to come. 

The project has already boosted the local economy with more than 150 jobs created during the construction phase of the project and 19 local businesses engaged. In addition, around a dozen operational staff will be based in Dandaragan in the long-term. 

RATCH-Australia and Alinta Energy have also committed to fund at least $50,000 each year to local community projects and groups to make a positive difference within the Shire of Dandaragan over the next two decades. 

The fund has already contributed $77,000 toward local community projects, ranging from sporting equipment and playground upgrades to community building repair works and lighting and sound equipment for the repertory club. Anthony Yeates, RATCH-Australia’s Executive General Manager of Business Development, thanked the local community, landowners and the Shire of Dandaragan for helping to bring the project to life. 

“The Vestas turbines at Yandin Wind Farm are amongst the biggest ever installed in Australia. This will give us greater opportunity to capture the large amount of the wind at the site. It really is a phenomenal wind resource that is present in the region and this project will be one of the most efficient and highest green energy producing in the country,” he said.

The wind farm is currently finalising supply agreements with major local and global brands, to be announced shortly.

Shire of Dandaragan President Leslee Holmes said the Shire would happily claim the title of having Australia’s best wind.

“We know that Dandaragan has a brilliant wind resource and it’s something we’re very proud of. I think the community also feels very positive about the contribution we’re making to lower the state’s emissions,” she said.   

The wind farm connects to Western Power’s 330 kV electricity South West Interconnected System network via a new 10 kilometre transmission line and terminal station - built, owned, and operated by Western Power. 

Civil works for turbine foundations and plant were completed by leading Australian construction and engineering firm Decmil, with the project creating some 150 local jobs over the course of the 18-month build.

Yandin was officially opened by Energy Minister Bill Johnston today during a ceremony with land owners, the local community and key stakeholders.

Key facts:

  • Site works on Yandin commenced in July 2019, with more than 50,000 tonnes of turbines and machinery estimated to have been transported to site during construction.
  • The project required close to 1 million hours of labour, generating around 150 local jobs over the course of the build.  
  • The turbines are among the biggest ever installed in Australia. At their highest point, the tip blades reach 180m into the air, and the rotor diameter is 150m. 
  • Wind recordings in 2017 showed consistent wind speed of about 30 kilometres an hour – from two directions – easterly overnight, and south west in the afternoon
  • The energy produced by the wind farm connects to Western Australia’s high voltage transmission network via a new 10 km transmission line and terminal station built, owned and operated by Western Power. From there, it is distributed to homes and businesses to be used wherever it is required.
  • Despite their size, the turbines only occupy around 0.03 per cent of the project site, meaning farming and existing land uses can co-exist. Alinta Energy has entered into lease agreements with the landowners which allow the farmers to continue their normal activities, whether grazing or cropping.