Windy Hill - Phase 1
Grid-connected, distributed generation, renewable
Location: Ravenshoe, QLD
Wind turbine operation
Phase 1 of Windy Hill wind farm consists of 20 turbines with a combined capacity of 12 MW. The turbines are Enercon E40, each with an electrical capacity of 600 kW. The turbines are mounted on tubular towers 44 metres high, the hub height is 46 metres. The rotors have total diameters of 46 metres. The blades pitch to optimise the power produced and to control the rotational speed. The turbine rotates from 14 rpm to 38 rpm maximum.
The rated output is produced at wind speeds of between 13 m/s (47 km/hour) and 25 m/s (90 km/hour), the cut-in wind speed is 2.5 m/s (9 km/hour).
Power is generated at 400 volts and is stepped up to 22,000 volts with a transformer for connection to the grid. The turbines are connected through underground cables before being connected to the overhead transmission lines passing through the wind farm. Ergon has constructed a new substation closer to Ravenshoe to enable the wind farm power to join the 66kV service to the Tablelands and North Queensland.
Stanwell Corporation does not own the land around the wind farm. Two local farmers have entered into lease access agreements with Stanwell. The wind turbines have minimal impact on their activities and the farmers continue with normal land use.
Phase 2 of the project is planned to consist of another 22 turbines, taking the total capacity to 25 MW. The project will proceed if the Shire Council and the local community are fully satisfied with project impacts.
Windy Hill's 12 MW wind farm will produce enough energy to supply 3500 homes (equivalent to the towns of Atherton and Mareeba) and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from non-renewable sources by 25,000 tonnes. Stanwell undertook wind monitoring to assess the potential of the site and optimum turbine layout. The consultation process with stakeholders considered issues such as aesthetics, impact on wildlife, noise levels and compatibility with telecommunications systems.