SYDNEY — As a result of its deep technical capability in the renewable energy space, AECOM has recently been appointed as the Owner’s Engineer for the A$360 million, 180 Megawatt (MW) Mount Emerald Wind Farm in North Queensland.
AECOM, the premier integrated infrastructure firm, will use its local and international wind farm experience to assist with all key technical aspects of the 53 turbine project. Working alongside the Ratch project team, AECOM brings a deep understanding of constructability issues based on recent site based experience gained on Ararat and Bald Hills Wind Farm projects.
Ratch Australia recently announced Vestas and Downer Group as the preferred contractors for the project, and are now working with them to finalise the necessary contracts for project construction and operations. The announcement followed Ergon Energy’s decision in May of this year to purchase all of the electricity generated by the wind farm through to the end of 2030. The project also received approval from both the Queensland and Australian governments last year following four years of on-the-ground studies.
Craig Chambers, AECOM Australia, Power Director said. “The AECOM team has delivered more than 3 gigawatts of wind projects, supporting a variety of clients across a broad range of services in Australia. We bring a detailed technical knowledge and understanding of the regulatory requirements as well as industry best practice, ensuring that Ratch Australia has direct access to some of the most experienced wind sector professionals in the market.”
AECOM will assist in managing technical compliance requirements, key risks and challenges during the different phases of the project.
Ratch Executive General Manager Business Development, Anthony Yeates, said, “We selected the AECOM team on the basis of their track record with recent Australian wind farm projects, and on the basis of our long working relationship with them on other Ratch development projects. Another key aspect of their selection was their strong North Queensland presence, for example we have been working with AECOM’s Cairns office on local road access arrangements for the project.”
Subject to final approvals, the project is scheduled to be completed by late 2018 and will significantly boost Queensland’s renewable energy capacity. Power producer Ratch owns a number of wind farms around Australia including the Windy Hill wind farm near Ravenshoe, and has an interest in a number of renewable energy development opportunities. Of the 3,500 MW of wind generation capacity currently in the country, Queensland currently only supplies around 12 MW from wind farms in Ravenshoe and Thursday Island.
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