Clements Gap Wind Farm (CGWF) is the 11th wind farm built in South Australia. The farm is located about 200km northwards of the Spencer Gulf, Adelaide, in Barunga Ranges, South Australia. CGWF is owned by Pacific Hydro and will generate around 56.7MW of power. It is Pacific Hydro’s first power facility in South Australia.
The project was planned as a part of Australian Government’s commitment to step-up its Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) to 20% by 2020. CGWF commenced operations in August 2009, while it officially opened on 18 February 2010. The cost of the project was approximately $150m.
The wind farm is capable of generating enough energy to power around 30,000 homes annually. The renewable power facility will also reduce five million tons of greenhouse gases.
Clements Gap wind farm project details
The plan for developing the wind farm dates back to 2001. The planning approval was received from Port Pirie Regional Council in mid-2003.
Pacific Hydro awarded a contract, which involved the supply and installation of wind turbine generators, to Suzlon Energy in February 2008.
Suzlon Energy carried out the work, including the design and manufacture of the turbine units, in-house wind turbine micro-siting, wind turbine power curve testing, and the international shipping and delivery of wind turbine components to the rural site.
The company has manufactured 80m-tall steel towers, in addition to the installation, commissioning and testing of the wind turbines. It has also supplied and installed SCADA systems for the farm.
Suzlon Energy will also provide long-term maintenance and other services to the wind farm.
Wind farm construction
The construction work involved in the development of the Clements Gap project included hardstands and foundations for the turbines, as well as the assembly of turbine towers, in addition to 17km roads for easy access to the power farm. A grid substation of 60MVA with underground cables and transformers was also constructed. Low voltage (LV) cabling and earthing work was also carried out.
Clements Gap wind farm details
The site of the wind farm resides on a 10km section of the Barunga Ranges, 40km south of Port Pirie. The site was selected for its richness in powerful winds, easy construction access, simple grid connection and strong community support. The farm is constructed in a total swept area of 40 acres.
The wind farm comprises 27 wind turbine generators, each with a capacity of 2.1MW. The turbines integrated in the farm are of type S88 from Suzlon Energy. Each turbine is installed in a swept area of 1.5 acres.
The design of the turbines is simple and provides tough, reliable machinery that is capable of maximising the energy production from the available wind. The maintenance cost of the turbines is also low.
The hub height of a turbine is 80m and the maximum height of the blades is 124m. The rotor diameter of each turbine is 88m.
The plant also comprises a grid substation, underground cables with a capacity of 33kV and 27 pad-mounted kiosk transformers with a rating of 33/0.69kV. The capacity factor of the wind farm is in the range of 32-38%. It will, therefore, typically generate 32-38% of its nameplate capacity averaged over a year.
Wind farm transmission and distribution
The power generated by the wind farm will be transmitted by utilising underground cables of 33kV. A step-up transformer of 33/132kV rating will be used to step up the voltage to 132kV, in order to minimise the transmission losses. A 15.5km-long 132kV power line is also arranged to transmit the power to various regions.
Wind power in South Australia
South Australia is rich in its wind resources and supplies around 50% of wind power utilised by Australia. Altogether, the state has 11 wind farms with an installed capacity of 868MW.
The wind power generating capacity of South Australia is anticipated to be between 1,500MW and 2,000MW by 2015. As of June 2009, the total wind generation capacity of Australia was about 1.494GW.