Giant Turbines Arrive for Queensland’s Largest Renewable Energy Project


Ratch Australia Corporation’s newest sustainable energy project, Mount Emerald Wind Farm, is taking shape as the critical ingredient made it safely into the Port of Cairns this week.

Powerful wind turbines were unloaded and ready to be transported to the Tablelands. Each blade weighed in at 16 tonnes and measured 57 metres.

Acting Premier and Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the wind turbine blades are part of an estimated 185,000 revenue tonnes of cargo to be delivered over the life of the project.

“The Mount Emerald Wind Farm project will see the creation of around 150 jobs during the construction phase and represents a significant boost to our local economy, especially for the contractors, suppliers, transport, and logistics companies involved."The wind farm was proposed to feature up to 75 turbines, but after vigorous community consultation only 53 will be constructed, despite there being approval for 63 turbines.

Minister for Energy Mark Bailey said the 180 Megawatt and $380 million Mount Emerald Wind Farm was a huge investment in Far North Queensland.

“Once constructed, these will be the biggest wind turbines ever seen in Queensland, over 30-storeys high,” Mr Bailey said.

"Mount Emerald Wind Farm is one of 20 renewable projects totalling 1,800 megawatts committed to or under construction in Queensland, delivering $3.4 billion of investment and over 2,800 direct construction jobs, mostly in regional Queensland.

“This compares to the complete renewable energy blackout we saw under the LNP where not one large-scale renewable project was commissioned during their term and 1,300 renewable industry jobs were lost.

“Renewable energy is now the cheapest and quickest way to deliver new generation, which is why we’re focusing on securing the next wave of large-scale renewable energy projects in Queensland through Renewables 400, our 400 megawatt (MW) reverse auction," he said.

Mount Emerald Wind Farm's location was chosen due to its 2,400 hectare expanse and orientation and elevation, making it ideal as a wind farm.

The site land is a rough plateau (elevation 900 metres) elevated approximately 300 metres above the surrounding plains and is comprised of sparse natural scrubland with some rocky outcrops.
Project at a Glance

  • Estimated construction cost ~$380 – $400 Million.
  • Estimated annual generation will be 500-600 GWh per annum, which will generate electricity to power the average use of 75,000-90,000 homes (1/3 of homes in FNQ)
  • Approximately 40km of new site roads will be required to bring the turbines to site safely, and to connect the turbines once constructed.
  • To enable connection to the existing 275kV NEM Powerlink Transmission line, which traverses the site, a new 33/275kV substation and switching yard will be constructed. Adjacent to the sub-station, a dedicated on-site O&M compound and control room will also be built for RATCH operational staff.
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