A LOGISTICAL feat was undertaken as the first shipment of wind turbine blades to arrive through the Port of Townsville were imported last week.
The 70 metre wind turbine blades are bound for the Kennedy Energy Park project in Hughenden.
The shipment of 36 blades and 3,500 tonnes of cargo from China will form part of the world’s first hybrid large-scale power plant.
The $160 million project combines twelve 200-metre-high wind turbines, 55,000 solar panels, and 4MW of lithium Ion Tesla battery storage.
Townsville MP Scott Stewart said the delivery of the blades and tower sections demonstrated the Port’s state of the art capabilities.
“The logistical coordination of such enormous cargo involves many parties, from the importer, shipping line, to stevedores and transport companies. It’s an incredible team effort,” he said.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the arrival of the wind blades marked a significant moment for not only Townsville, but the entire state.
“Queensland is experiencing a renewable energy boom, and it’s great to see our state owned ports playing a role,” he said.
Mr Bailey said the project would contribute to the government’s goal of achieving 50 per cent renewable energy for the state by 2030.
The project is being developed by Canberra-based Windlab Limited and Japan’s Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation, with Vestas providing the wind turbines and control software and Quanta Solar and Vestas delivering the engineering, procurement and construction of the project.
Head of Vestas Australia and New Zealand, Peter Cowling, said the arrival of the blades in Townsville was another milestone achieved in the project, which was scheduled to commence operations toward the end of 2018.
The Kennedy Energy Park will create around 110 jobs during construction, including contracts with 18 local businesses, power the equivalent of 30,000 homes and decrease 185,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.
KEP co-owner, Windlab Chief Executive Officer, Roger Price, said the project could export up to 60MW of power into the existing Ergon network, via two new substations at KEP and Cape River near Pentland.
He said stage two of the project, 70km north of Hughenden, had the potential to inject $2 billion into North Queensland’s economy and was a vitally important wind resource for Queensland.
Quanta Solar President, Charles Wright, said preparation for the large structures was underway in Hughenden.
“Each turbine requires 600 cubic metres of concrete footing, which is equivalent to around a quarter of an Olympic swimming pool,” Mr Wright said.
“Pours for each footing will take between eight to ten hours to complete.”