LGP and Iberdrola hosted for councils an informative tour of the Collector Wind Farm.
Meeting at the Bushranger hotel in Collector for a briefing and light lunch, the participating councils received an educational talk from the operator Ratch.
The Collector Wind Farm is located approximately 4klm from the main town and about an hour north-east from Canberra CBD. Ratch commenced construction on the 6,200-hectare greenfield site in May 2019, with commercial operation commencing June 2021. During construction 75-100ha was disturbed and is now the home to 54 Vesta Wind Turbines. At the time of construction an average of 150 workers were on site, with up to 250 at peak.
The wind turbines can produce 528GWH per year on average. This is equivalent to powering 80,000 NSW households based on the annual average electricity usage.
On approach to site, the impressive and slowly rotating structures standing at 92m at the hub, I am told the blades reach speeds of 300klm an hour. It is difficult to gauge the speed as the blades are 57 metres long (rotor Diameter 116m), giving the illusion they are hardly moving.
They are quiet and there is a peacefulness up on the hill.
During the visit, council participants got a chance to get up close and even in the turbine. Standing in the base the compact area contains an operation panel, a two-person lift (Compact) and for the fit a ladder to the top.
An operational team of approximately 10 staff are on site at any one time they share the site with flocks of sheep seen wondering around the bases.
• Project cost approximately $380 million.
• 40 local suppliers and a third of the workforce came from the region during construction.
• Electricity production commencements at winds of approximately 10klm/h – peak 50klm (area average 26.8klm/h).
• It takes approximately 6.3 months to offset the energy put into constructing the Vesta Wind Turbines.
• Ratch Australia since clean energy and commission commenced will commit $270,000 PA for the projects operating life to support local community causes and initiatives.
Iberdrola as a leader in renewables and smart grids partner to offer green energy to the market.