Waterloo Wind Farm, a Roaring 40s success

In late 2010, wind development company Roaring 40s completed construction on the Waterloo Wind Farm near the Clare Valley in South Australia.

The Waterloo Wind Farm is approximately 30 kilometres south-east of the township of Clare and 100 km north of the state capital, Adelaide.

Waterloo’s total maximum generating capacity of 111 megawatts (MW) is generated by 37 Vestas V90 3 MW turbines stretching over the 18 km wind farm site and connected through a 33 kilovolt (kV) internal reticulation network to the wind farm substation.

A 1.8 km 132 kV transmission line connects the wind farm to the ElectraNet transmission network via the new Waterloo East Substation.

All turbines, installed by Vestas, are commissioned and are currently exporting to the grid. The power generated at the Waterloo Wind Farm is purchased by Hydro Tasmania and TRUenergy.

Construction of Waterloo Wind Farm

The construction team overcame several challenging issues including topography and unique vegetation, which placed limitations on the design of access roads and hard stands. This consequently restricted movement of heavy vehicle deliveries and crane operation activities.

Roaring 40s Waterloo Project Manager Justin Couper says “Adverse weather conditions, including high rainfall and high winds, further restrained construction activities and not only tested the construction methodology, but also the relationship between contractors. All survived the test and the wind farm was completed in an incredible 15 months.”

Global context

Managing Director of Roaring 40s, Stephen Symons points out that, according to a report jointly published the Global Wind Energy Council and Greenpeace International, wind could meet 12 percent of the global power demand by 2020, and up to 22 percent by 2030. “Wind energy is the fastest growing form of electricity generation worldwide. Capacity has grown by an average of 28 per cent each year over the last ten years, with the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) reporting global wind generation capacity to reach close to 200 gigawatts (GW) this year. Wind energy now meets the needs of more than 25 million households world-wide,” Mr Symons explains.

Local context

With the full commissioning of the Waterloo Wind farm, South Australia is set to pass 1,000 MW of wind power. This is consistent with South Australian Government’s commitment that by 2020 South Australia will have 33 per cent of its electricity generated from renewable sources.

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