Dundonnell Wind Farm welcomes the arrival of WTC power transformer

19 August, 2019

After a long journey across four days and nights, a superload carrying a purpose-built power transformer has safely arrived at the Dundonnell wind farm, Tilt Renewables’ biggest wind farm to date, marking an important milestone in the project development. The installation of the transformer is in full swing, and when completed, the unit will facilitate the connection from the wind farm to the electricity transmission network.

Wilson Transformer Company (WTC), Australian-owned and based business located in Victoria, was awarded a contract to manufacture and deliver the 240MVA 220/33kV power transformer. Eight months of work with thorough planning enabled the transformer to leave the factory without a hitch and arrive safely at its new home.

Although WTC has extensive experience of producing transformers of similar size, this was a complex and very interesting project from the logistics point of view. Due to the height of the transformer of 4.3 meters, a beam-set trailer was used to reduce the overall travelling height to below 5.2 meters. This arrangement allowed the transformer to fit under existing infrastructure such as bridges and powerlines on its way to the wind farm. In addition, about 370 cubed meters of compact soil were brought in to build a special ramp, allowing the superload to cut through the employees’ carpark instead of the main gate. The ramp and beam set construction took almost two weeks to complete.

A 370-tonne superload spanning over 80 meters long then travelled from the factory in Glen Waverley to the Dundonnell wind farm, located 23 kilometres north-east of Mortlake in Western Victoria. The load travelled in stages over four days and nights at the very slow speed of 25 kilometres per hour to minimise disruptions. In close collaboration and co-ordination with VicRoads and other local authorities, Melbourne-based transport company Overdimensional Lift and Shift (ODLS) did a fantastic job transporting the unit in adverse weather conditions. En-route to the wind farm, some special arrangements were made, including temporarily removal of lights, signage and roadside fencing and placement of steel supports over existing drainage. The convoy consisted of the four prime movers, a steerer for the rear trailer, four company escort vehicles, and three VicRoads vehicles.

After a slow four-day journey, the superload finally arrived safe and sound at the Dundonnell wind farm. The transformer was then unloaded from the beam set and skated into its final position using hydraulic rams and steel beams. The installation of the transformer will take several weeks, which will include site assembly, oil filling, and site testing. The WTC team will work closely with Tilt Renewables, Vestas and Zenviron to complete the installation and prepare the transformer for use to generate clean energy to many thousands of customers.

About the project:

The 336MW Dundonnell Wind Farm is currently being constructing by Tilt Renewables in Western Victoria. The $560 million wind farm will comprise 80 Vestas V150-4.2 megawatt turbines over 4,500 hectares and generate 336 megawatts or 1,230 GWh per year. 

The Dundonnell Wind Farm will play an instrumental part in helping Victoria reach its 2025 renewable energy target. Around 87 per cent of the power generated from the wind farm has been contracted to both the Victorian State Government, under the Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme (VREAS), and to Snowy Hydro through its Renewable Energy Procurement Program.

The wind farm will produce enough clean energy each year to power about 245,000 homes - or more than enough for all of Ballarat, Warrnambool and Geelong. The project will save the emission of roughly 1.3 million tonnes of carbon. This is the equivalent of removing about 440,000 cars from our roads.

The wind farm will also provide a significant economic boost to the local area and for local businesses, generating more than 200 jobs. It will also provide vital training, skills development and education programmes, support the development of local infrastructure, and create a community fund to support social and environmental programmes.

More information: https://www.tiltrenewables.com/