Projects

Projects

Power: Stockyard Hill Wind Farm
 
Location:
Beaufort to Lismore, Victoria
Client:
AusNet Services
Value:
$93.4M
Timing:
May 2018 - September 2019
Contract Type:
Construct Only
Sector:
Unregulated
 
Stockyard Hill Wind Farm
PROJECT OVERVIEW

Located on farmland approximately 35km south of Ballarat, Victoria, the Stockyard Hill Wind Farm (SHWF) will have a total expected capacity of around 530MW from 149 turbines. Once completed, SHWF will be the largest wind farm in the country and is expected to provide electricity for 390,000 Victorian homes. The Wind Farm is connected to the Victorian Declared Shared Network (DSN) via approximately 56km of double circuit 132kV overhead line coming from three collector stations to a terminal station designated as Haunted Gully Terminal Station, where it will be connected to the 500kV DSN via the existing Moorabool and Tarrone Terminal Stations.

AusNet Services on behalf of Goldwind Australia engaged Zinfra to assist in the following:

  • Complete construction of the 500kV/132kV Haunted Gully Terminal Station including all civil, structural and electrical works;
  • Construction of the interface works and cut-over to re-align the existing 500kV transmission line (the main connection between VIC and SA) and connect the Haunted Gully Terminal Station;
  • Complete construction of 74km of 132kV transmission line, connecting the three wind farm collector substations to the greenfield terminal station at Haunted Gully; and
  • Procurement for the materials associated with the 132kV transmission line, with the majority being procured through our partner NARI.

In order to preserve the project schedule, an early works purchase order was issued to permit commencement of project plans and procurement commitments.

Our highly regarded transmission lines crews, electricians and project management team are delivering the majority of the construction works, with Zinfra employing up to 100 people at peak times during the construction of the transmission line and terminal station.

PROJECT DELIVERY

Environmental Awareness and Minimising Impact

The project area contains high quality patches of some of the most critically endangered vegetation in Victoria. This includes native grassland communities, as well as plants such as the Spiny Rice-flower and White Sunray.

Although there is a native vegetation permit that allows for the removal of patches of native vegetation, the project team worked closely to minimise the construction footprint in order to leave the more remnant vegetation in good health. The project team has also worked hard to protect remnant patches by flagging these areas off, conducting toolboxes and training to increase project awareness, and working with council to protect previously unidentified areas of native grassland. Native grasslands

require regular burns to maintain ecological health and so the project team worked with local CFA groups to ensure that these prescribed burns were able to continue during construction.

Apart from rescuing the odd possum or Eastern Long-necked Turtle from coming into contact with construction plant, the project team has reduced working areas in the Northern section of the project to avoid impacts to protected habitat of the critically endangered Striped Legless Lizard.

The Wathaurong people, being the traditional owners of most of the project area, manage cultural heritage compliance and the team at Stockyard Hill has worked very closely with the Wathaurong people to protect the archaeological and cultural integrity of many significant sites located across the project. Over 600 artefacts were catalogued during mechanical excavation, and the project team worked closely with the Wathaurong people to come up with solutions to prevent damage to significant sites. Some of these solutions included constructing built-up access tracks to prevent damage to areas of underlying archaeological significance beneath, and also using non-ground-disturbing methods to construct hurdles used for the protection of single-wire earth return lines during transmission line stringing activities.

The project team supports a reduce, reuse, recycle approach which not only reduces carbon footprint and landfill, but can save both money and time. An initiative used on Stockyard Hill was to use the left over concrete from pole foundation pours to construct the concrete bollards that were required under the Cultural Heritage Management Plan for the non-ground disturbing no-go -zone fencing that was used to protect culturally sensitive areas and archaeological stockpiles from mechanical excavation.

PROJECT CHALLENGES

The project team has experienced a number of challenges to date including:

Inclement Weather Impacts - periods of heavy continuous rain and high winds required crews to be stood down. In order to minimise the impact to productivity, the project schedule was re-sequenced to find alternate work fronts.

AEMO Outage Coordination and Delays - As the summer months approach, the ability to obtain outages on the 500kV network has become more challenging due to competing demands from other stakeholders. Zinfra continues to manage interface coordination to ensure timely outage and permit requests are actioned in order to minimise delays.

Stakeholder Management - Strong and effective engagement and communication with key stakeholders has been maintained throughout the project to ensure awareness and effective management of any issues raised.

PROJECT OUTCOMES

The construction program continues to be delivered in line with the accelerated program. To date, the project is currently on time and on budget with Zero LTIs.