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JG3

Coopers Gap Wind Farm Construction

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The early 'wet' finally cleared from SE Qld, so a chance for a flight at last....

Went out to check on the construction of the Coopers Gap Wind Farm out near the Bunya Mountains.

It's a major construction project, with hoards of equipment and utes everywhere. They have permits at present to set up 123 turbines, but hope to get permission to double that in the future. 

 

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The first three turbines are complete, and they're working their way up the line. You can see dozens of bases and first stage towers in the distance, and lots of tower sections waiting for the big crane.

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Assembling that giant crane.

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Now that's a giant crane!

Must need a lot of skill and and a calm day to lift and fit those enormous aerodynamic blades.....

No spare blades seen on site at this time, but I hope to see that process on future flights.

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They're still preparing foundations. It needs a strong foundation to hold up an enormous turbine in any wind conditions.

They dig out a circular pit and then set that central cage and heaps of reinforcing all round.

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Then cover it with concrete, then backfill and pack it down hard.

They have their own concrete batching plant on site.

Flying gives such a great chance to view the process.

More to come as the project progresses......

 

 

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Great photos there, JG3, thanks for the article. You're not wrong about the wind speeds needing to be low for the actual lift.

If you want to see a proper crane disaster, look for "Big Blue, Miller Park", and check out the story and video.

In essence, Lampson were using a 2100 tonne Mitsubishi crane to lift a 450 tonne section of roof into place on the new Miller Park Stadium, in July 1999.

The moving roof was assembled on the ground in large sections, then lifted into position by Big Blue.

The maximum engineered wind speed for the crane was 20 mph - but on the day, the wind was gusting to 27mph. The managers in charge of the lift also failed to assess the size of the roof structure relative to the wind speed.

The crane collapsed as a result of the excessive wind speed, 3 men were killed, and the damage bill ran into hundreds of millions of dollars. Mitsubishi were sued successfully by the widows of the 3 men killed and were awarded US$57M.

The tangled mess of metal left after the disaster was simply cut up for scrap, and it took 34 semi-trailer loads to haul it away.

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Did another flight out there yesterday morning to check on progress. Still only three turbines complete and three towers with nacelle on top but no blades. Lots of first stage towers up cause that can be done by mobile crane. Lots of 2nd,3rd, 4th tower sections and nacelles all laid out ready to go up. Seems to be a lack of blades at this time, but two blades have just arrived, still on the transporters.

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That Coopers Gap project is just north of the Bunya Mts. Worth a flight if you're interested in big construction projects.

 

On the way home noticed that the Tarong coal-fired power station was belching a lot of smoke, it's usually cleaner than that....

(That's smoke from the smokestack, not the steam from the cooling towers)

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They've done a lot of effort to reduce particulate pollution but doesn't seem to be working today....

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I recently visited the wind farm west of Glen Innes. There are scores of turbines, and they are said to power the whole north of the state on a good day. I've seen one turbine blade transported up the New England Highway and that was a logistic feat. To have brought a couple of hundred of them in is a major achievement. 

 

The sad thing is that Tony Abbott scared off the investors who were planning to build those blades in this country.

They're all imported.

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power consumption in summer heat is through the roof, QLD exports power to NSW, so that's probably just Tarong running at full power.

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Full summer there's a lot of power going back into the grid from all the rooftop solar installations, when the suns shining lots of power produced by rooftop solar powers most of the air conditioners needed because the suns shining. Great green circle benefiting everybody but the Abbot coal mob.  

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I was at Tarong PS when it was being built, and many many times over the years. Initially the electrostatic precipitators were great at removing particulate content from the stacks (it's a 4 in 1 stack - 4 boilers, 4 turbines). Early on there was no sign of smoke. Over the years, the quality of coal got worse, maybe more dirt as you dig deeper? They tried trucking coal from Acland and that burned better but it was hard coal - you should have heard the racket from the ball mills trying to pulverised it! (They burn coal dust in the furnace) So back to using dirtier than usual coal. I was told that those cooling towers use 80 megalitres a day. Not good in a drought. The other stack is the newer Tarong North power station. I don't know why but it doesn't smoke.

Edited by nomadpete

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The initial plan called for the blades not to be moved until after the new Toowoomba range crossing opened. 

However after a couple of trial moves they decided not to delay the project.

So far I have seen about 6 shiploads come in dedicated to this project. 3 just with blades.

I will try and get some photos of the storage areas tomorrow, they a huge.

Every spare piece of usable space on Fishermans Island is covered with these parts.

 

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@fly_tornadoyou might as well have written "aliens are coming to Toowoomba".

 

Which government is selling power to whom? Where is this claim coming from?

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BA56BDDA-4EEB-46EF-AAF7-44E7B6517A1B.thumb.jpeg.7f37e7cf71b9f244f4579e4d7e017e75.jpeg

some of the Blades

 

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a collection of towers

 

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More blades with a semi alongside for comparison. That is a 45’ trailer on the semi. 

 

Edited by Geoff13
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This is just 3 of 9 laydown areas at Fishermans Island. The logistics behind this are huge, what I wouldn't give for 1% of the freight costs.

 

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On Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 8:57 AM, JG3 said:

They've done a lot of effort to reduce particulate pollution but doesn't seem to be working today....

I've worked at a smelter/refinery and the company knew exactly when they could "crank it up" with the right wind direction and strength, so the remote pollution sensor stations would not register. Generally this was done at night also, so it couldn't be seen.

They got caught out when the local town was covered with a change in the wind. It turned dead calm and everyone woke up with "smog" covering the town.

Company said it was an "accident" and it would be thoroughly investigated......lol....

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As the member for the electorate of BS moaning and misinformation has failed to answer the question, Coopers Gap will be run by AGL. Notably the Qld gummint sold its previous wind farms through Stanwell corp (a GOC or "Quango") to Transfield over 10 years ago.

 

Seems Stanwell didn't have the belly for wind but are still going ok with small scale hydro 

Edited by mnewbery
Typo
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Flew out to Coopers Gap this morning to check on progress. Counted eleven all rigged up and more blades on site. 

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First calm day after weeks of wind, so work in progress

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There was an inversion holding the smoke down over the coal burning plant....

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Great flying conditions early. Totally hands off for nearly an hour on the way home.

 

JG

Blades on hand.JPG

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It is hard to get a perspective of scale when you look at a photo of a wind farm until you see one under construction with the massive crane and the Utes on the ground that would fit on the tip of the blade like a fly sitting on a blade of a portable house fan.

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