A sod turning ceremony today marked the official commencement of construction at the Yandin Wind Farm, Western Australia’s biggest wind farm in the Shire of Dandaragan around 175km north of Perth.
Landowners, community members and project partners gathered at the site for a sod-turning ceremony and high-tech virtual reality experience.
Attendees were invited to visualise the placement and scale of the finished turbines through virtual reality headsets.
Ken Woolley, Alinta Energy’s Executive Director of Merchant Energy, said the event was about celebrating the contributions of project partners, the community and landowners.
“Today we’re saying thanks to the landowners, local community and others that helped us get to this point. We’re on track to have the wind farm up and running by the second half of 2020.
“Western Australia has some tremendous renewable energy resources, and we believe the Yandin Wind Farm will harness one of the best, if not the best wind resource in the country.
“I’m also happy to announce the we’re about to open up applications for a community fund that will contribute at least $50,000 to projects and groups within the Shire of Dandaragan each year.
“The fund will be split into two rounds a year of $25,000 each, with further details available on the project website,” said Mr Woolley.
Brent Bailey, CEO of the Shire of Dandaragan, said the sod turning was an important step in the Shire’s plan to make the area WA’s renewable hub.
“The Yandin Wind Farm is a great example of the Shire of Dandaragan’s desire to be recognised as the centre of renewable energy in WA, and it’s terrific to hear the project partners talk about the region’s potential.
"Our aspiration to be the centre of renewable energy in WA is driven by input from our community, so I hopefully speak on their behalf when I say we are looking forward to the project becoming operational. We also welcome contact from other developers who would like to investigate how the Shire can support them to make our vision a reality,” he said.
The 214 MW Yandin Wind Farm will comprise 51 (4.2 MW) turbines. The project is expected to cost approximately $400 million and will generate around 150 jobs during construction.
Between January and June 2020, over 50,000 tonnes of turbines and machinery will be transported to site. The project will require close to 1 million hours of labour, which will be dedicated to constructing the wind farm to highest standards.
The turbines will only occupy around 0.03% of the project site, which means farming and existing land uses can co-exist.
The high-quality wind resource in the region means the wind farm’s long-term capacity factor is projected to be around 50 per cent, which may be the country’s highest.
The wind farm will connect to Western Power’s 330 kV electricity network via a new 10 km transmission line and terminal station that will be built, owned and operated by Western Power.Notes to the editor