The energy generated from the Dundonnell wind farm will be sufficient to power more than 245,000 homes a year. Credit: Tilt Renewables.
The Dundonnell wind farm will comprise of 80 Vestas V150 - 4.2MW turbines. Credit: Stefan Hundhammer.
The wind project was approved under the Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme (VREAS). Credit: Tilt Renewables.

Dundonnell wind farm is a 336MW wind project being developed 23km north-east of Mortlake, Victoria, Australia. It will be one of the biggest wind farms in the state upon completion.

The project is being developed by Tilt Renewables with an estimated investment of $560m. Construction on the project is expected to begin by January 2019, while operations are expected to commence by 2020.

The wind farm is being developed under the Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme (VREAS), which aims to support the Victorian Government’s aim to generate 25% of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and 40% by 2025. It is expected to generate 1.25TWh of electricity a year to power more than 245,000 homes a year.

The Victorian State Government and Snowy Hydro will purchase 87% of the power generated from the wind farm under the Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme (VREAS) and the Renewable Energy Procurement Program, respectively.

The project is expected to generate more than 200 direct jobs during construction and employ ten full-time employees during operation.

Dundonnell wind farm make-up

The Dundonnell wind farm will be spread across 4,500ha and installed with 80 Vestas V150 – 4.2MW turbines.

Each turbine will have a tip height of up to 189m and rated power of 4MW. The turbine blades will have a length of 73.7m, rotor diameter of 150m and swept area of 17,671m².

The turbines will be connected by 33kV underground cables.

Construction details

The first phase of construction will include the up-gradation of public roads and formation of an access track for the wind farm. Internal roads will be constructed to connect the turbine generators and wind farm site with public roads.

The major phase of construction will commence after the road upgrades. Construction and commissioning of the wind turbines, electrical systems and transmission lines will form the final phase of construction.

Concrete batching plants and an onsite quarry comprising up to two pits will be developed during the construction. Temporary structures, such as construction laydown areas, make-shift site buildings and parking facilities, will also be developed.

Power transmission

The Dundonnell wind farm will include a 220kV / 33kV onsite substation and 500kV / 220kV offsite substation. The onsite substation will include a control room, switch gears, transformers and insulators.

The power generated will be transmitted from the onsite substation to the offsite substation through a 38km-long, 220kV above-ground power transmission line. The offsite substation will be constructed on Connewarren Lane, east of the Mortlake gas-fired power station.

A 1km-long, 500kV transmission line will connect the offsite substation to the Mortlake power station, which will distribute the power to the 500kV Heywood-Moorabool network of the National Electricity Market (NEM).

Contractors involved

Vestas received the contract to supply, install and operate the wind turbines. The contract also includes an electrical balance of plant structures and 15-year service agreement.

Ausnet Services will design, build, own and operate the transmission lines for the project.

The turbine construction will be performed by Zenviron, who was awarded the contract for balance-of-plant civil and electrical works, while Downer EDI has been contracted for the construction of the transmission lines.

The aviation aspects of the project, including visual amenity, risks, effects and consultation, were studied by Aviation Projects.