A 150 tonne transformer is to be transported along the New England Highway in Glen Innes next week. It’s going to the Sapphire Wind Farm and due to pass through the town on Tuesday, August 15. The equipment which transforms power generated by the wind into a form which can be used on the grid is eleven metres long and about six metres in height and width.
The machine was built in Melbourne by the Wilson Transformer Company and will come to its final destination 20 kilometers west of Glen Innes under police escort.
It won’t be the last spectacular load to trundle the roads. At the beginning of the month, the first of eight shipments of huge turbines docked in Newcastle from China. “Once constructed, these will be the tallest wind turbines ever seen in NSW, standing 200 meters high,” the project manager of the Sapphire Wind Farm, Andrew Houston, said.
When it’s up and running, the wind-farm will be able to generate enough clean energy to power 115,000 homes. It’s not just the turbines, with their towers and blades, and the transformers which are giant. So is the cost at $588 million. The Gwydir Highway has had to be upgraded to cope with the loads. There are more than 150 workers on site.
“The arrival of the first of the transformer, as well as the first shipment (of turbines) marks yet another exciting milestone in the progress of the $588 million wind farm,” said Mr Houston. When the project is finished the 75 wind-turbines will stand 200 metres high. “Once constructed, these will be the tallest wind turbines ever seen in NSW”, he said.