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Wind farms in Tasmania: a page of Wind in the Bush

Wind in the Bush aims to be the most informative, comprehensive, and up-to-date pages on Australian wind power and wind farms.
The author is not beholden to any company, lobby group, or government. *


This page created 2008/03/08, modified 2014/01/16 – ©
Information about wind farms that I have missed, additional interesting information,
or corrections for anything that I have got wrong, would be greatly appreciated.
About these pagesGoogle search Ramblings
Contact: email daveclarkecb@yahoo.com

Contents of this page...

Introduction

Specific wind farms...
Bluff Point | Cattle Hill | Flinders Island | Huxley Hill | Granville Harbour | Low Head Wind Farm | Musselroe | Nichols Poultry | Studland Bay | TasWind | White Rock | Woolnorth

Other proposed wind farms
Index

(Off this page: Wind farm locations on Google Maps)

Using this page: some hints

This and most other pages of 'Wind in the Bush' are set out like reference books. There is a contents list at the top of each page and at least one index at the bottom of the page. Use these to find the subject you want, or use CTRL F to find words or phrases that interest you. There is also a search box near the top of the Wind Home page. All the main pages of 'Wind in the Bush' are listed at the top left of the Wind Home page and each of the states' pages.

Introduction

Climate change is the greatest threat facing the world today; wind generated electricity is one of a number of ways that we can reduce our reliance on fossil fuel-generated electricity and therefore reduce our greenhouse gas production and limit climate change.

Wind farm
colour coding
Proposed
Development applic. lodged
Approved
Under construction
Operating
Tasmania has special advantages for wind power development. Stretching from south Latitude 43.7 degrees, in the south, to Latitude 40.7 degrees in the north, it is entirely within the 'Roaring 40s'; a belt of some of the most reliable winds on Earth. Tasmania generates a high percentage of its power from hydro. This is an ideal accompanyment to wind: when the wind stops blowing the hydro power can be switched on; when the wind blows the hydro can be switched off and the water conserved.

While Tasmania has special advantages for wind power, in terms of powering Australia it also has one special disavantage - Bass Strait. There is a power cable beneath the Strait, the Basslink Interconector, but there is still the distance disadvantage. Basslink is the world's longest subsea electricity cable.

The low number of proposed wind farms in Tasmania is puzzling, but it seems probable that the island is unatractive to wind farmers because of its relative isolation from the big electricity markets of the 'northern island'.

I will be pleased to hear from any reader who believes that anything in any of these pages is incorrect or substantially incomplete. Please send details, with appropriate references, to the email address above. Any suggestions on how these pages can be more informative will also be appreciated.
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Updated 2013/05/10

Cattle Hill Wind Farm

 
Map
Location of Cattle Hill Wind Farm
From The Mercury
 

News 2013/05/09

Clean Technica reported that Denham Capital Management had invested in several Australian wind farms, including this one.
This project has been proposed by US power company National Power (who seem to not be making any information available on the Internet). National Power's Sydney office is at Level 16, 60 Carrington St. Sydney 2000; phone 02 9279 0755. NP's email address for inquiries is info@nppartners.com.

It was expected that the wind farm would be spread over 4000ha on the eastern side of Lake Echo, would have turbines that would reach 125m high, and yet would be visible from only two local homes.

Most of the above information came from an article by Phillippa Duncan of The (Tasmanian) Mercury, April 4th 2010.

Cattle Hill Wind Farm summary data
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW ConstructionLatLong
Development application lodged100?3?240? 2013?S 42.16°E 146.68°

It was reported in The Mercury on 2011/12/04 that this project has been approved by the EPA. ABC On-line News reported on 2012/01/30 that approval had been given by the Central Highlands Council; approval was still required from the Federal Government.




 
Updated 2013/05/12

Flinders Island Wind Farm

 

Third turbine

Robert Nichols of Nichols Poultry and a business called Blowing in the Wind has apparently installed an Enercon E30, 300kW turbine. More can be read about this at Think Tasmania. The third turbine was installed about May 2012. (Also see ABC)
I received the following in an email from Peter Kempster (who lives on King Island and manages the wind farm/power station there) on 2009/03/03:
"Yes there are two wind turbines on Flinders Island. 1 x 55 kW unit installed in 88 and 1 x 25 kW unit installed in 96. These units are not owned by Hydro Tasmania, they are privately owned and Hydro Tasmania purchase's all the power they produce."

 
Flinders Island 1 Flinders Island 2
Photo acknowledgement: Peter Kempster

ABC on-line news, November 21, 2007 reported...

Hydro Tasmania has secured all the approvals it needs to build up to four wind turbines on Flinders Island. The turbines would produce between 0.9 and 3.4 megawatts of power and cut the the island's reliance on diesel by 30 per cent or about 350,000 litres annually. The Leader of Government Business in the Legislative Council, Doug Parkinson, says Hydro's plans are progressing well. "Hydro Tasmania has secured the development approval for up to four wind turbines on Flinders Island," he said. "Once wind turbine supply has been secured, the business case will be progressed for consideration by Hydro Tasmania's board."
As of December 2008 I have not been able to find information about this wind farm on Hydro Tasmania's Net site.

A page by RISE, Research Institute for Sustainable Energy, also mentioned some wind power installed on Flinders Island in 1988 and a second stage in 1996.

I emailed Hydro Tasmania (webmaster@hydro.com.au) on 19th Dec. 2008 requesting more information; had not received a reply by 2009/03/19.

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This section written 2013/12/19

Granville Harbour Wind Farm

It is proposed that this wind farm be built on Granville Cattle Farm, about 25km WNW of Zeehan. Quoting from the Weekly Times Now:
"The Federal Government and the West Coast Council have already granted conditional approval for the proposal. And the Environmental Protection Agency is assessing a development proposal and an environmental management plan."
The project is proposed by the owners of the Granville cattle farm who want to install the turbines on their land. It seems that there is not yet a power purchase agreement.

Summary data, Granville Harbour Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
Proposed33399 UndecidedApprox. S 41.82°E 145.06°

Additional data on Granville Harbour Wind Farm
Project costAus$200 million






 
Updated 2013/07/09

Huxley Hill Wind Farm

Also known as the King Island Wind Farm

 

Australia's biggest wind farm on King Island?

A major wind farm of about 600MW has also been proposed for King Island, it is to be called TasWind Wind Farm.

Proposed expansion of existing wind farm

Reneweconomy, 2012/11/28, mentioned that Hydro Tasmania is planning "a $46m prototype off-grid power plant that combines solar panels, wind turbines (an additional 6MW), biodiesel and energy storage technology. (Also see King Island Renewable energy.) This project aims to provide 65 per cent of King Island's energy needs from renewable sources by 2013 (100 per cent on windy days) and to cut its energy costs by $4.5 million a year."
The farm started generating in 1998 and has since been expanded. Its total generating capacity is 2.5MW of electricity and it is now owned and operated by Hydro Tasmania.

It is a part of a power complex that includes solar and diesel generators. Hydro Tasmania have a page that gives actual output, updated every five minutes, by the wind and solar installations.

In interesting feature of Huxley Hill is that it includes a 'vanadium redox flow battery' (see Wikipedia); this is capable of storing up to 800kWh of surplus energy and releasing it as required. This was insalled during stage 2.

I thank Peter Kempster, who lives on King Island, for some of the above information.

Huxley Hill Wind Farm is located at South Latitude 39.93° and East Longitude 143.87°


Huxley Hill Wind Farm summary data
Stage 1

Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Commissioned
Operating30.250.75?

TurbineNordex N29
Tower height29m
Rated wind speedApprox. 50km/hr
Rotor diameter29.7m



Stage 2

Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Commissioned
Operating20.851.72003

TurbineVestas V52
Tower height60m
Rated wind speedApprox. 50km/hr
Rotor diameter52m
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This section written 2012/12/01

Low Head Wind Farm

This wind farm has been proposed by Low Head Wind Farm Pty Ltd, who have a Net site about the project. If built, it will be about 7km NE of Georgetown and a similar distance east of the mouth of the Tamar inlet.

The proponents are "now engaging local land owners and other stakeholders to discuss key aspects of the project and better understand any perceived concerns or risks" (2012/12/16).

Summary data, Low Head Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
Proposed9 to 123?About 30 UndecidedApprox. S 41.05°E 146.88°

 
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Updated 2014/01/16

Musselroe Wind Farm


This was originally a Roaring 40s project, but was taken over by Hydro Tasmania following the break up of Roaring 40s. It is in the NE extremity of Tasmania, about 20km NE of Gladstone and about 100km NE of Launceston, was proposed around 2004 only to be shelved in 2006. Then it was on-again-off-again, largely because of changes in the Federal Government's renewable energy legislation, until in December 2011 Hydro Tasmania (ABC On-line News) stated that construction would begin 'this month'.

(Tasmania has a far higher percentage of renewably generated electricity than any other Australian state.)

Ecogeneration News carried an article on 2012/03/09 about an agreement between Hydro Tasmania and Chinese company Shenhua Clean Energy Holding for providing $400m funding for the project.

Musselroe Wind Farm summary data
Status# TurbinesManufacturerModelMW eachTotal MW CompletionLat.Long.
Operating 56VestasV903168 July 2013S 40.90°E 148.15°
The turbines are Vestas V90

Further data on Musselroe Wind Farm
Project cost$400 million
Expected greenhouse gas saving300 000 tonnes CO2 p.a.
Expected generation500GWh per year
Proportion of Tasmania's energy demand5%

On 2014/01/15 there was an interesting article on ABC On-line News about the Musselroe Beef company that runs 2000 head beneath the turbines.

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Nichols Poultry

Nichols Poultry has a wind turbine near the intersection of Chapel Road and Valley Field Road, Sassafras.

Nichols Poultry wind turbine summary data
Status# TurbineskW CommissionedLat.Long.
Operating1225 2008S 41.257°E 146.513°

The turbine is a Vestas V27

 
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Altered 2013/06/24

TasWind Wind Farm

 
King Island and the proposed general locations for the turbines
King Island map
Image credit Hydro Tasmania, TasWind
Hydro Tasmania has a Net site devoted to this proposal, there is a Facebook page devoted to the proposal and I have created a page aimed at countering some misinformation that has been published on the project.

 
The vote on whether the project should go to the feasibility stage was 59% in favour. Hydro Tasmania has said that it will go ahead. Reported on ABC On-line news 2013/06/24.
On 2013/05/13 the King Island Courier announced that KI's biggest employer, Lion Nathan, were urging King Islanders to say yes to the wind farm proposal going to the next stage (a detailed study of the feasibility of the wind farm). Lion owns King Island Dairy and employs about 100 people (of a total KI population or around 1600). Also in that issue of the KIC it was reported that the same public relations firm that has worked for the infamous Church of Scientology, Exclusive Brethren and James Hardy (asbestos), has been engaged by those opposed to the project to 'amuse then scare' the local people. It seems that substantial funding for this may be coming from a particular very wealthy opponent who is opposed to the project because "it may spoil the view from his newly acquired property".

Summary data, TasWind Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
Proposed2003600 Around 2017Approx. S 39.92°E 143.99°
It is hoped that the wind farm will be operating in 2019

King Island is ideally placed for a large wind farm. It is in the notoriously windy Bass Strait and close to Melbourne, which will provide a market for the electricity.

Understanably, particularly considering the amount of disinformation being spread by wind farm opponents, there is a great deal of concern about the proposal among the residents of the island. The Garnaut report showed that Australia's CO2 emissions were 28 tonnes per person in 2006, so the TasWind project will abate the carbon dioxide emissions of some 70 000 Australians. The King Island people have the unenviable responsibility of deciding the correct course of action both for themselves and for the world.

If the wind farm is built it will probably be the biggest in Australia (and the Southern Hemesphere – and depending on whether the similarly sized Ceres Project goes ahead); in November 2012, Victoria's Macarthur Wind Farm, at 420MW installed, held that distinction.

Additional data on TasWind Wind Farm
Owner/operatorHydro Tasmania
Project costAus$2 000 million
Annual generationAbout 1800GWh
Annual abatementAbout two million tonnes
The actual abatement would depend on the proportion of electricity from gas or coal-fired power stations that would be replaced by the TasWind project

Hydro Tasmania list the economic benefits of the project on a Net page.





 
Updated 2013/03/08

White Rock

Also known as Robbins Island Wind Farm

The Hammond family and Eureka Funds Management is planning to construct a wind farm located mostly on Robbins Island in north-west Tasmania. Robbins Island is an uninhabited island off the north-west tip off Tasmania about 25 kilometres north-west of Smithton. Company: Eureka Funds Management

Summary data, White Rock Wind Farm
Status# TurbinesMW eachTotal MW Construction dateLat.Long.
Dev. Application lodged2202440 2015/16?Approx. S 40.69° E 144.94°
 
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Updated 2013/06/16

Woolnorth Wind Farm

Including Bluff Point and Studland Bay wind farms



This wind farm is located near Cape Grim in the northwest corner of Tasmania. It was developed, owned and operated for several years by Hyrdo Tasmania. Three stages of this wind farm have been completed giving a total of 140MW installed capacity.

On 2011/12/22 the Wall Street Journal published online the following "Guohua, a unit of China's state-owned coal giant Shenhua Group, is acquiring interests in the 65-megawatt Bluff Point and 75-megawatt Studland Bay wind farms." Hydro Tasmania needs the procedes of this deal to finance the Musselroe Wind Farm.



Woolnorth Wind Farm summary data

Stage 1 (Bluff Point)
Status# TurbinesManufacturerModelMW eachTotal MW CommissionedLat.Long.
Operating6VestasV661.7510.5 August 2002Approx. S 40.72°E 144.73°


Stage 2 (Bluff Point)
Status# TurbinesManufacturerModelMW eachTotal MW CommissionedLat.Long.
Operating31VestasV661.7554 April 2004S ?°E ?°


Stage 3 (Studland Bay)
Status# TurbinesManufacturerModelMW eachTotal MW CommissionedLat.Long.
Operating25VestasV90375 2007S ?°E ?°


All stages combined (Woolnorth)
Status# TurbinesTotal MWCapacity factor Commissioned
Operating6214039%2007
The capacity factor above was calculated from AEMO data for March 2009 to December 2012 data (inclusive) downloaded via Andrew Miskelly's '.csv' format download facility. It is one of the highest for any Australian wind farm.


 
Generation record
Up to end 2012

Generation record for Woolnorth

The graph on the right shows the power generation record for Woolnorth Wind Farm as recorded by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) and downloaded via the ALG (Australian Landscape Guardians) Net site. The units are average megawatts generated month by month.


Further data on Woolnorth Wind Farm...
Turbines
Productive wind speedsStages 1 & 2: from 4.2 to 25m/sec (15 to 90km/hr)
Peak efficiency wind speedStages 1 & 2: from 15 to 25 m/sec (55 to 90km/hr)
Wind generatorsStages 1 & 2: Vestas 1.75MW
Stage 3: Vestas V90 3MW
Tower heightStages 1 & 2: 60m
Rotor diameterStages 1 & 2: 66m
Total weight of turbine and towerStages 1 & 2: 180 tonnes


ABC on-line news Sept. 21, 2007 stated that ten wedge tailed eagles had been killed by Woolnorth turbines since it began operating in 2003. Doctor Cindy Hull has studied bird deaths at the Woolnorth wind farms for some years. It seems from her work that eagle deaths have decreased substantially since around 2007.
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Other proposed wind farms

In addition to the wind farms detailed above at least one other has been proposed (table below).

If and when this proposed wind farm looks likely to be built, and as I get more information, I will write it up in more detail. If any readers have information concerning this or others I would appreciate a note, my email address is at the top of this page.

Until a wind farm gets at least to the point where an application for approval has been submitted to the relevant authority it may be little more than wishfull thinking and is not worth covering in more detail than that below.



Wind farms that have been proposed in Tasmania

Project nameAreaSponsoring CompanyCapacity, MWStatus
Tamar Valley Site of Gunns pulp millTamar Valley Renewables?Suggested
For links to developers see Wind farm businesses

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Index

On this page...
Bluff Point Wind Farm
Cattle Hill Wind Farm
Contents
Flinders Island Wind Farm
Huxley Hill Wind Farm
Granville Harbour Wind Farm
Introduction
King Island Wind Farm
Low Head Wind Farm
Musselroe Wind Farm
Nichols Poultry wind turbine
Other proposed wind farms
Robbins Island Wind Farm
Studland Bay Wind Farm
Tamar Valley Wind Farm
TasWind Wind Farm
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White Rock Wind Farm
Woolnorth Wind Farm
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