Challicum Hills Wind Farm
Grid connected, distributed generation, renewable
Location: Buangor, VIC
The $76 million Challicum Hills Wind Farm consists of 35, 1.5 megawatt generators sited across seven grazing properties. The seven farming families lease land to Pacific Hydro for the wind generators and connecting roads. The wind farm takes up less than 1 per cent of the available grazing land. The site was chosen for strong and consistent winds, community support and proximity to a National Electricity Grid connection.
The NEG Micon wind generators used at Challicum Hills each have their own internal computer system to monitor the wind direction and speed, and the rotors automatically pitch into the prevailing wind for maximum generation efficiency. The wind farm can be monitored and controlled via a remote computer. Electricity production commences above 14 km/h, the blades rotate at 17.3 rpm and rated capacity is reached at winds of around 57 km/h. The generators automatically shut down in winds above 90 km/h to avoid damage.
Energy purchase and supply
The plant is expected to produce over 130,000 GWh of electricity per annum. Power generated from the project is sold to Origin Energy under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement. The plant is connected to the National Electricity Grid via a switchyard that has been built by Powercor near Buangor on the Western Highway. Electricity is generated at 690 Volts and stepped up to 22,000 Volts in each generator, and then stepped up again to 66,000 volts needed for the Powercor distribution lines. The wind farm is eligible to create Renewable Energy Certificates under the Mandated Renewable Energy Target.
The project is expected to save some 170,000 tonnes per annum of greenhouse gas emissions and produce the equivalent annual electricity needs of up to 25,000 houses. Electricity generation will also save significant resources in the Latrobe Valley.
|Buangor near Ararat, 200 km west of Melbourne|
NEG Micon, lead contractor