Construction of the wind farm was completed in December 2020. Credit Stockyard Hill Wind Farm.
Nebras Power acquired 49% stake in the wind farm project from Goldwind Australia in January 2020. Credit Stockyard Hill Wind Farm.
A syndicate of nine banks are funding the A$700m ($506m) Stockyard Hill wind project. Credit: Goldwind Australia Pty Ltd.

The Stockyard Hill wind farm is a 530MW facility located near Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. It will be one of the biggest wind farms in the southern hemisphere, upon commissioning.

The wind farm was developed by Goldwind Australia with an estimated investment of A$700m ($506m). Nebras Power Investment Management (NPIM) acquired a 49% stake in the project from Goldwind Australia in January 2020.

Goldwind Australia is responsible for providing engineering, procurement, and construction services to the wind farm, as well as operations and maintenance (O&M) services during its service life.

The Victorian government approved the project in April 2018. Construction began with the official ground-breaking ceremony held in June 2018. All 149 turbines of the wind farm were installed by December 2020.

The wind farm passed its first hold point test in July 2021 and was approved by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to transmit up to 30MW into the National Electricity Market (NEM) in the same month.

At full capacity, the Stockyard Hill wind farm will power approximately 391,000 Victorian households and offset approximately two million tonnes of CO₂

Stockyard Hill wind farm location

The wind farm site is located 35km west of Ballarat near the Yarrowee River in Victorian central highlands. It is located within the agricultural district, where most of the area is used for grazing and cropping.

The perimeter of the wind farm stretches to 5km south of Beaufort near Western Highway and approximately 4km north of Skipton.

The Victorian government had granted permission for the development of an on-site quarry for the wind farm under the Mineral Resource Sustainability and Development Act (MRSDA). The quarry site was rehabilitated and returned to the landowner, after the wind farm’s construction.

Stockyard Hill wind farm turbine details

The Stockyard Hill wind farm is installed with 149 Goldwind GS140 3s turbines. Each of the three-blade wind turbines has a diameter of up to 140m and a rotor swept area of up to 15,480m². The operating temperature of the unit is between -30°C and 40°C while its survival temperature range is between -40oC and 50oC.

The 3.5MW turbines have been mounted on steel towers with a hub height of 110m.

Goldwind Australia received approval from the Victorian government to increase the tip height of the turbines from 132m to 180m.

Transmission and power purchase agreement

The electricity generated by the wind farm will be transmitted through 132kV external overhead power transmission lines connecting the new Haunted Gully Terminal Station (HGTS). The new transmission lines will extend up to 75km and will be supported by hexagonal-shaped poles made of galvanised steel.

The maximum height of the poles is 42m while the minimum height is 30m. The maximum base width of the pole is 2m.

Double strain poles with an average height of 32m, 34m-high suspension poles, and strain poles with an average height of 34m are used for the transmission lines. The minimum clearance height between the land and the overhead transmission cable is 8.6m.

The HGTS is located at the intersection of Lower Darlington Road and Smiths Road. It was constructed at the southern part of a 158ha site.

Origin Energy signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Goldwind Australia in May 2017 to buy the entire power generated by the wind farm until 2030.

Contractors involved in Stockyard Hill

A joint venture (JV) of SNC-Lavalin and WBHO Infrastructure (WBHO) was preferred as the balance of plant contractor by Goldwind. The JV was responsible for the engineering, procurement, and construction of all electrical infrastructure.

The joint venture was to build foundations, hardstands, internal access roads, and upgrade public roads, under the contract.

Keppel Prince Engineering was awarded a contract to supply 28 towers for the wind farm, in September 2018.

Goldwind and AEMO placed a contract with AusNet Services to construct, own and operate the transmission lines and a new terminal station in Haunted Gully for the Stockyard Hill wind farm, in May 2018.

Zinfra, on behalf of AusNet Services, was responsible to build the transmission infrastructure for the wind farm.

Financing

A syndicate of nine banks funded the A$700m ($506m) Stockyard Hill wind farm project.

The syndicate of banks led by National Australia Bank included The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (MUFG), ABN AMRO, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Mizuho Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Westpac Banking Corporation, and Societe Generale.

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