With the recent lifting of the final turbine, Windhoist have completed work on the 180MW Mount Emerald wind farm, having successfully raised and installed 16 Vestas V112 x 84mhh and 37 V112 x 90mhh wind turbines on the Far North Queensland wind farm project.
The $380 million wind farm is spread over 2,400 hectares of land and will supply Australians with an enormous 180MW of energy when finished, enough energy to supply a third of the power needs for Far North Queensland.
“We’ve done our fair share of projects for Vestas in Australia since 2010, and for the Mount Emerald project, we offered them an entire crane package service, as well as providing some extra man-power for the job,” Edward Brennan, project manager for Windhoist Australia, said.
“For the project, we provided machines for Vestas on three fronts. For offloading, we hired out two cranes – a 100-tonne and 140-tonne crawlers – from Century Cranes in Cairns and used them for this part of the project. For pre-assembly, we used our own Liebherr LTM1500 crane with a 500-tonne capacity, as well as one of our 130-tonne crane as backup. And as for the main crane setup for the project, we provided our huge Liebherr LTM1750s.
The key feature of the 9-axle LTM1750-9.1 is that it can carry its entire telescopic boom on public roads. Its high load capacities and variable boom systems enable it to cover a wide range of uses. In terms of its construction, this mobile crane is designed for particularly short set- up times.
As for the LTM1500s, Windhoist have been using these machines to erect wind turbines since the company began and have proven to be hugely successful and efficient in conducting these jobs. The 8-axle LTM1500-8.1 is equipped with a 7-section, 84-metre telescopic boom – the longest in the world. The lifting capacities are increased considerably due to the jib-suspension, and the lattice jib – reaching lengths of up to 91 metres – extends the operating range of the 500-tonner to 145-metre hoisting height and 108-metre reach.
“Mount Emerald is probably one of the most challenging and unique wind farm projects that we were involved with, especially in terms of its geography and the uneven terrain with very steep ridges that we had to work on,” Brennan said.
“We had to specially configure the cranes we used in order for them to operate more efficiently on site, given the problematic terrain they had to work on.
“Ultimately, we were able to overachieve on our install rates. Our contract stated that we must install at least two turbines a week, over three or four separate occasions. We were actually able to achieve an install rate of three a week.”
Once operational, Mount Emerald will be the biggest wind farm in Queensland and will deliver around 540,000MW hours of renewable energy, which is predicted to meet the annual needs of approximately 75,000 North Queensland homes over a 20- year period.
“With the Mount Emerald project complete, we not move onto another project that we just recently secured, which is on the Kennedy Energy Park in Queensland. We will be mobilising the LG1750 for that job,” Brennan said.
“We’ve also secured another wind farm project in Victoria for Siemens Gamesa, as well as another one for Vestas in Tasmania’s Granville Harbour.
“I believe our performance and quick delivery on Mount Emerald has currently set us as the benchmark in this space. Over the years we have been working on these types of projects, we have set a very good standard, which has allowed us to secure a pipeline of continuous work.”